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Report of the National Intelligence Council’s 2020 Project
Based on consultations with nongovernmental experts around the world
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Contents Executive Summary Methodology Introduction The Contradictions of Globalization An Expanding and Integrating Global Economy The Technology Revolution Lingering Social Inequalities Page 9 19 25 27 29 34 37 40 47 48 51 56 59 63 64 73 73 79 83 93 93 97 98 100 104 111 Fictional Scenario: Davos World Rising Powers: The Changing Geopolitical Landscape Rising Asia Other Rising States? The “Aging” Powers Growing Demands for Energy US Unipolarity—How Long Can It Last? Fictional Scenario: Pax Americana New Challenges to Governance Halting Progress on Democratization Identity Politics Fictional Scenario: A New Caliphate Pervasive Insecurity Transmuting International Terrorism Intensifying Internal Conflicts Rising Powers: Tinder for Conflict? The WMD Factor Fictional Scenario: Cycle of Fear Policy Implications .
1900–2025 Key Areas of Radical Islamic Activities Since 1992 EU: Estimated and Projected Muslim Population. 1985–2025 Global Trends in Internal Conflict. 1990-2003 31 32 48 50 51 59 60 80 82 83 101 5 .Graphics and Tables China’s and India’s Per Capita GDPs Rising Against US When China’s and India’s GDPs Would Exceed Today’s Rich Countries Telescoping the Population of the World to 2020 China’s Rise Projected Rise in Defense Spending. 2003–2025 Fossil Fuels Will Continue to Dominate in 2020 An Expanding European Union Number of Religious Adherents.
China: Long-Term Prospects Asia: The Cockpit for Global Change? Global Aging and Migration Could Europe Become A Superpower? The Geopolitics of Gas Eurasian Countries: Going Their Separate Ways? Climate Change and Its Implications Through 2020 Latin America in 2020: Will Globalization Cause the Region to Split? Organized Crime Cyber Warfare? How Can Sub-Saharan Africa Move Forward? International Institutions in Crisis The Rules of War: Entering “No Man’s Land” Post-Combat Environments Pose the Biggest Challenge Is the United States’ Technological Prowess at Risk? How the World Sees the United States 8 26 28 30 36 38 52 53 55 58 61 62 74 76 78 96 97 99 102 103 104 112 114 7 .Special Topics The 2020 Global Landscape Mapping the Global Future What Would an Asian Face on Globalization Look Like? What Could Derail Globalization? Biotechnology: Panacea and Weapon The Status of Women in 2020 Risks to Chinese Economic Growth India vs.
8 . radiological. Whether rise of China/India occurs smoothly. Energy supplies “in the ground” sufficient to meet global demand. or nuclear weapons. chemical. World economy substantially larger. Africa. Increasing number of global firms facilitate spread of new technologies. Key Uncertainties Whether globalization will pull in lagging economies. Asia. Growing power of nonstate actors. militarily. likely to become less Westernized. Political Islam remains a potent force.The 2020 Global Landscape Relative Certainties Globalization largely irreversible. supply disruptions. Impact of religiosity on unity of states and potential for conflict. Whether other countries will more openly challenge Washington. backsliding by fragile democracies. Aging populations in established powers. Arc of instability spanning Middle East. Environmental and ethical issues even more to the fore. welfare systems. US will remain single most powerful actor economically.” Extent of gaps between “haves” and “have-nots”. Extent to which new technologies create or resolve ethical dilemmas. and integrate migrant populations. technologically. Extent to which connectivity challenges governments. Ability of EU and Japan to adapt work forces. managing or containing financial crises. Willingness and ability of states and international institutions to accommodate these actors. Precipitating events leading to overthrow of regimes. growth of jihadist ideology. Political instability in producer countries. Great power conflict escalating into total war unlikely. whether US loses S&T edge. Rise of Asia and advent of possible new economic middle-weights. More or fewer nuclear powers. Improved WMD capabilities of some states. ability of terrorists to acquire biological. Ability to manage flashpoints and competition for resources. degree to which Asian countries set new “rules of the game. whether EU becomes a superpower.
Yet how China and India exercise their growing power and whether they relate cooperatively or competitively to other powers in the international system are key uncertainties.Executive Summary At no time since the formation of the Western alliance system in 1949 have the shape and nature of international alignments been in such a state of flux. As we map the future. new challenges to governance. as well as others. influencing the path that states and nonstate actors choose to follow. A combination of sustained high economic growth. The end of the Cold War shifted the tectonic plates. The economies of other developing countries. retrenchment in Eurasia. The role of the United States will be an important variable in how the world is shaped. and transatlantic divisions are among the issues that have only come to a head in recent years.” the 21st century may be seen as the time when Asia. could surpass all but the largest European countries by 2020. Emerging powers in Asia. expanding military capabilities. but the repercussions from these momentous events are still unfolding. The very magnitude and speed of change resulting from a globalizing world—apart from its precise character—will be a defining feature of the world out to 2020. In the same way that commentators refer to the 1900s as the “American Century. Other significant characteristics include: the rise of new powers. New Global Players The likely emergence of China and India. • Most forecasts indicate that by 2020 China’s gross national product (GNP) will exceed that of individual Western economic powers except for the United States. • Barring an abrupt reversal of the process of globalization or any major upheavals in these countries. India’s GNP will have overtaken or be on the threshold of overtaking European economies.4 billion and almost 1. such as Brazil.3 billion respectively by 2020—their standard of living need not approach Western levels for these countries to become important economic powers. and a more pervasive sense of insecurity. the rise of these new powers is a virtual certainty. the prospects for increasing global prosperity and the limited likelihood of great power conflict provide an overall favorable environment for coping with what are otherwise daunting challenges. Indonesia’s economy could also approach the economies of individual European countries by 2020. as new major global players—similar to the advent of a united Germany in the 19th century and a powerful United States in the early 20th century—will transform the geopolitical landscape. and large populations will be at the root of the expected rapid rise in economic and political power for both countries. led by China and India. with impacts potentially as dramatic as those in the previous two centuries. comes into its own. including terrorism. a roiling Middle East. 9 . Because of the sheer size of China’s and India’s populations—projected by the US Census Bureau to be 1.
trade and finance. India. To the south. will co-exist. how we mentally map the world in 2020 will change radically. North and South. Russia has the potential to enhance its international role with others due to its position as a major oil and gas exporter. developed and developing. and for the rising powers of China and India. Some aspects of globalization—such as the growing global interconnectedness stemming from the information technology (IT) revolution— almost certainly will be irreversible. highly skilled work force. and perhaps others such as Brazil and Indonesia—have the potential to render obsolete the old categories of East and West. Impact of Globalization We see globalization—growing interconnectedness reflected in the expanded flows of information. aligned and nonaligned. Asians’ lingering resentments and concerns over Korean unification and cross-Taiwan Strait tensions point to a complicated process for achieving regional equilibrium. Meanwhile. although unlikely. and unified trade bloc—an enlarged Europe will be able to increase its weight on the international scene. that the process of globalization could be slowed or even stopped. Either European countries adapt their work forces. just as the era of globalization 10 . A state-bound world and a world of mega-cities. poor medical care. Japan faces a similar aging crisis that could crimp its longer run economic recovery. and people throughout the world—as an overarching “mega-trend. terrorism. Russia faces a severe demographic crisis resulting from low birth rates. single currency. and tax systems. it borders an unstable region in the Caucasus and Central Asia. education. capital. Yet it is also possible. Europe’s strength could be in providing a model of global and regional governance to the rising powers. linked by flows of telecommunications. states and nonstate actors—including both private companies and NGOs—will struggle to shape its contours. While these social and political factors limit the extent to which Russia can be a major global player. The “arriviste” powers—China. But aging populations and shrinking work forces in most countries will have an important impact on the continent. But the future of globalization is not fixed.” a force so ubiquitous that it will substantially shape all the other major trends in the world of 2020. reform their social welfare. the crisis over North Korea is likely to come to a head sometime over the next 15 years. goods. the United States and Europe. but it also will be challenged to evaluate its regional status and role. stable democratic governments. the effects of which—Muslim extremism. Tokyo may have to choose between “balancing” against or “bandwagoning” with China. However. Traditional geographic groupings will increasingly lose salience in international relations.By most measures—market size. and accommodate growing immigrant populations (chiefly from Muslim countries). services. Competition for allegiances will be more open. or they face a period of protracted economic stasis. With these and other new global actors. and a potentially explosive AIDS situation. less fixed than in the past. and endemic conflict—are likely to continue spilling over into Russia. technology. Moscow is likely to be an important partner both for the established powers.
The United States. universal education. and efforts by global corporations to diversify their high-tech operations will foster the spread of new technologies. By having the fastest-growing consumer markets. there will be cyclical ups and downs and periodic financial or other crises. skipping over phases that other high-tech leaders such as the United States and Europe had to traverse in order to advance. but this basic growth trajectory has powerful momentum behind it. Barring such a turn of events. High-tech breakthroughs—such as in genetically modified organisms and increased food production—could provide a safety net eliminating the threat of starvation and ameliorating basic quality of life issues for poor countries. The growing two-way flow of high-tech brain power between the developing world and the West. both developed and developing. more firms becoming world-class multinationals. will see its relative power position eroded. Rising powers will see exploiting the opportunities afforded by the emerging global marketplace as the best way to assert their great power status on the world stage. But the gap between the “haves” and “have-nots” will widen unless the “have-not” countries pursue policies that support application of new technologies— such as good governance. In contrast. cheap technologies to fuel—although at a slower rate—their own development. and others as evidence of a relative decline. Those left behind in the developing world may resent China and India’s rise. Yet the benefits of globalization won’t be global. it is projected to be about 80 percent larger than it was in 2000. will benefit from gains in the world economy. India.in the late 19th and early 20th centuries was reversed by catastrophic war and global depression. especially if they feel squeezed by their growing dominance in key sectors of the global marketplace. Asia looks set to displace Western countries as the focus for international economic dynamism—provided Asia’s rapid economic growth continues. the increasing size of the information computer-literate work force in some developing countries. though it will remain in 2020 the most important single country across all the dimensions of power. China and India are well positioned to become technology leaders. the world economy is likely to continue growing impressively: by 2020. 11 . and even the poorest countries will be able to leverage prolific. The greatest benefits of globalization will accrue to countries and groups that can access and adopt new technologies. some now in the “First World” may see the closing gap with China. too. Most countries around the world. globally available technologies—whether the technologies are acquired through a country’s own basic research or from technology leaders. Of course. even though the older powers are likely to remain global leaders out to 2020. and average per capita income will be roughly 50 percent higher. and market reforms. Indeed. And large pockets of poverty will persist even in “winner” countries. and greater S&T stature. Those countries that pursue such policies could leapfrog stages of development. a nation’s level of technological achievement generally will be defined in terms of its investment in integrating and applying the new.
further integrating the world economy. Traditional suppliers in the Middle East are also increasingly unstable. and West Africa—that are being counted on to provide increased output involve substantial political or economic risk. encompassing the current.• The expected next revolution in high technology involving the convergence of nano-. large multinationals. The Internet in particular will spur 12 . Thus sharper demand-driven competition for resources. both in size and origin. perhaps accompanied by a major disruption of oil supplies. Total energy consumed probably will rise by about 50 percent in the next two decades compared to a 34 percent expansion from 1980-2000. and those operating in the global arena will be more diverse. Japan. but economic globalization and the dispersion of technologies. and other developing countries’ growing energy needs suggest a growing preoccupation with energy. is among the key uncertainties. globalization could be equated in the popular mind with a rising Asia. complicating the ability of states to govern. More firms will become global. • • China. an increasing preference for natural gas may reinforce regional relationships—such as with Russia or North Africa—given the interdependence of pipeline delivery. New Challenges to Governance The nation-state will continue to be the dominant unit of the global order. For Europe. Such corporations. replacing its current association with Americanization. will place enormous new strains on governments. although it must increasingly compete with Asia to retain its edge and may lose significant ground in some sectors. India. Both countries are investing in basic research in these fields and are well placed to be leaders in a number of key fields. many of the areas—the Caspian Sea. globalization will take on an increasingly non-Western character. more Asian and less Western in orientation. overall energy supplies will be sufficient to meet global demands. India. Growing connectivity will be accompanied by the proliferation of virtual communities of interest. By 2020. and promoting economic progress in the developing world. especially information technologies. While North America. The United States is still in a position to retain its overall lead. But on the supply side. Europe risks slipping behind Asia in some of these technologies. such as oil. An expanding global economy will increase demand for many raw materials. information and materials technology could further bolster China and India’s prospects. shaping their foreign policies. with a greater share provided by petroleum. bio-. will be increasingly outside the control of any one state and will be key agents of change in dispersing technology widely. and Europe might collectively continue to dominate international political and financial institutions. Their ranks will include a growing number based in such countries as China. Most experts assess that with substantial investment in new capacity. Venezuela. or Brazil.
and political parties—will ensure that political Islam remains a major force. With migration on the increase in several places around the world—from North Africa and the Middle East into Europe. A combination of factors—youth bulges in many Arab states. rallying disparate ethnic and national groups and perhaps even creating an authority that transcends national boundaries. • Outside the Middle East. poor economic prospects.” which could involve elections at the local level and a consultative mechanism on the national level. Such post-World War II creations as the United Nations and the 13 .the creation of even more global movements. some of the institutions that are charged with managing global problems may be overwhelmed by them. Yet democratization and greater pluralism could gain ground in key Middle Eastern countries which thus far have been excluded from the process by repressive regimes. which may emerge as a robust force in international affairs. the influence of religious education. and WMD proliferation. The so-called “third wave” of democratization may be partially reversed by 2020—particularly among the states of the former Soviet Union and in Southeast Asia. but fragile new democracies may lack the adaptive capacity to survive and develop. Regionally based institutions will be particularly challenged to meet the complex transnational threats posed by terrorism. Contradictory forces will be at work: authoritarian regimes will face new pressures to democratize. Regimes that were able to manage the challenges of the 1990s could be overwhelmed by those of 2020. organized crime. political Islam will continue to appeal to Muslim migrants who are attracted to the more prosperous West for employment opportunities but do not feel at home in what they perceive as an alien and hostile culture. With the international system itself undergoing profound flux. nongovernmental organizations. Latin America and the Caribbean into the United States. Chinese leaders will face a dilemma over how much to accommodate pluralistic pressures to relax political controls or risk a popular backlash if they do not. and the Islamization of such institutions as trade unions. political Islam will have a significant global impact leading to 2020. In particular. religious identities provide followers with a ready-made community that serves as a “social safety net” in times of need—particularly important to migrants. and increasingly from Southeast Asia into the northern regions—more countries will be multi-ethnic and will face the challenge of integrating migrants into their societies while respecting their ethnic and religious identities. Part of the pressure on governance will come from new forms of identity politics centered on religious convictions. some of which never really embraced democracy. perhaps with the Communist Party retaining control over the central government. In a rapidly globalizing world experiencing population shifts. Beijing may pursue an “Asian way of democracy.
Such territories can become sanctuaries for transnational terrorists (such as al-Qa’ida in Afghanistan) or for criminals and drug cartels (such as in Colombia). India. and youth bulges will align to create a perfect storm for internal conflict in certain regions. lagging economies. with expanses of territory and populations devoid of effective governmental control. including the rise of new powers. Although a leveling off point has been reached where we can expect fewer such conflicts than during the last decade. and whether overall economic growth is sufficiently robust to absorb a growing number of displaced workers. globalization will profoundly shake up the status quo—generating enormous economic. how flexible labor markets become. particularly those that involve ethnic groups straddling national boundaries. • This enormous work force—a growing portion of which will be well educated—will be an attractive. hundreds of millions of working-age adults will become available for employment in what is evolving into a more integrated world labor market. as well as the two-bloc standoff during the Cold War. competitive source of low-cost labor at the same time that technological innovation is expanding the range of globally mobile occupations. Some internal conflicts. At their most extreme. cultural. The rigidities of alliance systems before World War I and during the interwar period. and consequently political convulsions. Where these pressures lead will depend on how political leaders respond. unlike during previous centuries when local conflicts sparked world wars. The growing dependence on global financial and trade networks will help deter interstate 14 . Outsourcing on a large scale would strengthen the antiglobalization movement. bringing more rapid job turnover and requiring professional retooling. risk escalating into regional conflicts. The likelihood of great power conflict escalating into total war in the next 15 years is lower than at any time in the past century. the continued prevalence of troubled and institutionally weak states means that such conflicts will continue to occur. religious extremism. • Weak governments. Even as most of the world gets richer. The number of internal conflicts is down significantly since the late 1980s and early 1990s when the breakup of the Soviet Union and Communist regimes in Central Europe allowed suppressed ethnic and nationalistic strife to flare. virtually assured that small conflicts would be quickly generalized. internal conflicts can result in failing or failed states. With the gradual integration of China.international financial institutions risk sliding into obsolescence unless they adjust to the profound changes taking place in the global system. The transition will not be painless and will hit the middle classes of the developed world in particular. and other emerging countries into the global economy. Pervasive Insecurity We foresee a more pervasive sense of insecurity—which may be as much based on psychological perceptions as physical threats—by 2020.
and fund-raising will become virtual (i. and more destructive conventional munitions—create circumstances encouraging the preemptive use of military force.. hawalas1. and learning. and increase the risk of conflicts escalating into nuclear ones. Facilitated by global communications. Training materials. and has emerged in response to government repression. the rise of nationalism in some states. including Southeast Asia. Iraq. the assistance of proliferators will reduce the time required for additional countries to develop nuclear weapons. Moreover. Central Asia and Western Europe. The absence of effective conflict resolution mechanisms in some regions. cause a possible shift in the balance of power. communication. precision delivery. accuracy. This revival has been accompanied by a deepening solidarity among Muslims caught up in national or regional separatist struggles. Information technology. the consequences would be significant. the revival of Muslim identity will create a framework for the spread of radical Islamic ideology inside and outside the Middle East. such as Palestine.conflict but does not eliminate the possibility. Moreover. Transmuting International Terrorism The key factors that spawned international terrorism show no signs of abating over the next 15 years. advances in modern weaponry—longer ranges. and there is a substantial risk that broad Islamic movements akin to al-Qa’ida will merge with local separatist movements.e. will enable the terrorist threat to become increasingly decentralized. 1 Hawalas constitute an informal banking system. We expect that by 2020 al-Qa’ida will be superceded by similarly inspired Islamic extremist groups. Should conflict occur that involved one or more of the great powers. the Taiwan Strait or India/Pakistan issues—could lead to miscalculation. and other mechanisms will continue to proliferate and be exploited by radical elements. targeting guidance. The open demonstration of nuclear capabilities by any state would further discredit the current nonproliferation regime. Chechnya. cells. and lethality of their delivery systems as well as develop capabilities to penetrate missile defenses. allowing for instant connectivity. evolving into an eclectic array of groups. where religious identity has traditionally not been as strong. madrassas. and the raw emotions and tensions on both sides of some issues—for example. corruption. and individuals that do not need a stationary headquarters to plan and carry out operations. Informal networks of charitable foundations. Countries without nuclear weapons—especially in the Middle East and Northeast Asia—might decide to seek them as it becomes clear that their neighbors and regional rivals are doing so. and southern Thailand. weapons know-how. online). and ineffectiveness. Kashmir. Current nuclear weapons states will continue to improve the survivability of their deterrent forces and almost certainly will improve the reliability. 15 . Mindanao. alienation among unemployed youths will swell the ranks of those vulnerable to terrorist recruitment.
Terrorist attacks will continue to primarily employ conventional weapons. Terrorists probably will be most original not in the technologies or weapons they use but rather in their operational concepts—i. possibly introducing an Orwellian world. led by China and India. particularly in contrast to the relative stasis of the Cold War era. 16 . Possible Futures In this era of great flux. Our greatest concern is that terrorists might acquire biological agents or. These scenarios are not meant as actual forecasts. radiological and nuclear weapons increases the risk of a major terrorist attack involving WMD. Pax Americana takes a look at how US predominance may survive the radical changes to the global political landscape and serve to fashion a new and inclusive global order. to cause physical damage to information systems. over the next 15 years could reshape the globalization process—giving it a more non-Western face and transforming the political playing field as well. the scope.e. from seriously challenging the nation-state system to establishing a more robust and inclusive globalization. Strong terrorist interest in acquiring chemical. these scenarios illustrate just a few of the possible futures that may develop over the next 15 years. or support arrangements for attacks. we see several ways in which major global changes could take shape in the next 15 years. design.. In the body of this paper we develop these concepts in four fictional scenarios which were extrapolated from the key trends we discuss in this report. but they describe possible worlds upon whose threshold we may be entering. • • • Of course. incorporating new twists and constantly adapting to counterterrorist efforts. biological. better-informed groups. depending on how trends interweave and play out: • Davos World provides an illustration of how robust economic growth. Cycle of Fear provides an example of how concerns about proliferation might increase to the point that large-scale intrusive security measures are taken to prevent outbreaks of deadly attacks. but the wide range of possibilities we can imagine suggests that this period will be characterized by increased flux. Bioterrorism appears particularly suited to the smaller. even more likely. We also expect that terrorists will attempt cyber attacks to disrupt critical information networks and. a nuclear device. less likely. A New Caliphate provides an example of how a global movement fueled by radical religious identity politics could constitute a challenge to Western norms and values as the foundation of the global system. either of which could cause mass casualties. The scenarios are not mutually exclusive: we may see two or three of these scenarios unfold in some combination or a wide range of other scenarios.
more countries will be in a position to make the United States pay a heavy price for any military action they oppose. A counterterrorism strategy that approaches the problem on multiple fronts offers the greatest chance of containing—and ultimately reducing—the terrorist threat. The EU. The possession of chemical. both of which formed the bedrock of US power in the post-World War II period. Where US-Asia relations lead will result as much or more from what the Asians work out among themselves as any action by Washington. the Middle East.Policy Implications The role of the United States will be an important shaper of the international order in 2020. The development of more open political systems and representation. and others absent a single overarching threat on which to build consensus. 17 . While no single country looks within striking distance of rivaling US military power by 2020. The US economy will become more vulnerable to fluctuations in the fortunes of others as global commercial networking deepens. biological. Some trends we probably can bank on include dramatically altered alliances and relationships with Europe and Asia. technological. and empowerment of Muslim reformers would be viewed positively by the broad Muslim communities who do not support the radical agenda of Islamic extremists. Washington may be increasingly confronted with the challenge of managing—at an acceptable cost to itself—relations with Europe. the United States will retain enormous advantages. The success of the US-led counterterrorism campaign will hinge on the capabilities and resolve of individual countries to fight terrorism on their own soil. and the role which Europeans shape for themselves on the world stage is most likely to be projected through it. and/or nuclear weapons by Iran and North Korea and the possible acquisition of such weapons by others by 2020 also increase the potential cost of any military action by the US against them or their allies. will increasingly become the primary institution for Europe. Although the challenges ahead will be daunting. and military—that no other state will match by 2020. playing a pivotal role across the broad range of issues—economic. political. Asia. rather than NATO. Dealing with the US-Asia relationship may arguably be more challenging for Washington because of the greater flux resulting from the rise of two world-class economic and political giants yet to be fully integrated into the international order. US dependence on foreign oil supplies also makes it more vulnerable as the competition for secure access grows and the risks of supply side disruptions increase. broader economic opportunities. One could envisage a range of possibilities from the US enhancing its role as balancer between contending forces to Washington being seen as increasingly irrelevant. Counterterrorism efforts in the years ahead—against a more diverse set of terrorists who are connected more by ideology than by geography—will be a more elusive challenge than focusing on a centralized organization such as al-Qa’ida.
Taiwan. and the role of multilateral institutions. privacy. which has dramatically shifted since the end of the Cold War. particularly in shaping a new international order that integrates disparate regions and reconciles divergent interests. old and new. the younger generation of leaders—unlike during the post-World War II period—has no personal recollection of the United States as its “liberator” and is more likely to diverge with Washington’s thinking on a range of issues. Despite likely high-tech breakthroughs that will make it easier to track and detect terrorists at work. international law regulating conflict. the attacker will have an easier job than the defender because the defender must prepare against a large array of possibilities. The United States increasingly will have to battle world public opinion. the terrorist threat is likely to remain. At the same time. however. have the potential to divide worldwide publics and challenge US leadership. human rights. and Kashmir to ensure they do not get out of hand if a peace settlement cannot be reached.Even if the numbers of extremists dwindle. These issues include the environment and climate change. the United States will have many opportunities to extend its advantages. 18 . The United States probably will continue to be called on to help manage such conflicts as Palestine. Over the next 15 years the increasing centrality of ethical issues. North Korea. Some of the current anti-Americanism is likely to lessen as globalization takes on more of a nonWestern face. The rapid dispersion of biological and other lethal forms of technology increases the potential for an individual not affiliated with any terrorist group to be able to wreak widespread loss of life. However. cloning and biotechnology. In helping to map out the global future. the scenarios and trends we analyze in the paper suggest the possibility of harnessing the power of the new players in contributing to global security and relieving the US of some of the burden.
We also consulted the Eurasia Group. former head of Shell International’s scenarios project2—to discuss their most recent work and the methodologies they employed to think about the future. Australia. two in Hungary—to solicit the views of foreign experts from a variety of backgrounds—academics. Participants explored key trends that were presented by experts and then developed alternative scenarios for how the trends might play out over the next 15 years. identity politics.” We surveyed and studied various methodologies (see box on page 22) and reviewed a number of recent “futures” studies. and New Zealand to learn their thinking. Georgetown and now Princeton Professor John Ikenberry. We augmented these discussions with conferences and workshops that took a more indepth view of specific issues of interest. President. business people. Besides convening a meeting of counterparts in the UK. offering lessons from prior periods of “globalization. climate change and many others (see box on page 20 for a complete list of the conferences). and Ged Davis. 19 . • The UN Millennium Project—an independent body that advises the UN on strategies for achieving the Millennium development goals—provided invaluable data on crosscutting issues. Director of the RAND Corporation’s Center for Longer Range Global Policy and the Future of the Human Condition. we held a conference in the Washington. the changing nature of warfare. CENTRA Technologies. Oppenheimer. DC area on India. who facilitated several of our sessions and informed our thinking on methodologies. gender issues. which included hundreds of foreign participants. And we consulted numerous organizations and individuals on the substantive aspects of this study. Canada. Jim Dewar. Oxford Analytica.Methodology To launch the NIC 2020 Project. Other individual scholars we consulted included Michael F. members of nongovernmental organizations and other institutions—who could speak authoritatively on the key drivers of change and conceptualize broad regional themes. government officials. who organized several seminars of academic experts over the course of more than a • 2 Shell International Limited has for decades used scenarios to identify business risks and opportunities. Singapore. and Chile. South Africa. we organized six regional conferences in countries on four continents—one in the United Kingdom. and the Stimson Center. In addition to the conferences held overseas. as well as on methodologies and approaches for thinking about the future. We invited three leading “futurists”—Ted Gordon of the UN’s Millennium Project. Global Scenarios. Our regional experts also contributed valuable insights on how the rest of the world views the United States. in November 2003 we brought together some 25 leading outside experts from a wide variety of disciplines and backgrounds to engage in a broad-gauged discussion with Intelligence Community analysts. Ged Davis led this effort for many years. including new technologies. Princeton University historian Harold James gave the keynote address.
Department of Politics. DC (Spring-Summer. DC (August 2004) Business Leader Roundtable Discussion—CIA Headquarters (September 2004) India and Geopolitics in 2020–Rosslyn. South Africa (March 2004) Global Evolution of Dual-Use Biotechnology—Washington. Anne Solomon. Professor Barry B. Hungary (April 2004) Europe NIC 2020 Workshop—Budapest. Pennsylvania State University. whose related statistical and scenario work is featured on our Web site. DC (September 2004) Wrap-Up NIC 2020 Project Workshop—Virginia (October 2004) Consultation on Preliminary NIC 2020 Draft with UK experts and the International Institute of Strategic Studies—London. Distinguished Professor of History and Religious Studies. Senior Adviser on Technology Policy and Director of the Biotechnology and Public Policy Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. Elke Matthews. DC (November 2003) Professor Ikenberry’s series of International Relations Roundtables—Georgetown University (November 2003-November 2004) Joint US-Commonwealth Intelligence Officials’ Conference —Washington. Hughes. Henry Wendt Chair in Political Economy. NIC 2020 Project Conferences and Workshops Presentation by Joint Doctrine and Concepts Center (MoD/UK)—CIA Headquarters (September 2003) Conference on Anti-Americanism—Wye Plantation (October 2003) Inaugural NIC 2020 Project Conference—Washington. who was instrumental in our analysis of issues pertaining to Africa. who provided us with important perspectives on demographic issues. Chile (June 2004) Technological Frontiers. and Jeffrey Herbst. 2004) Information and Communications. American Enterprise Institute. Technological and Social Cohesion and the Nation-State— Washington. Graduate School of International Studies. and Conflict—Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) (June 2004) Climate Change—University of Maryland (June 2004) NSA Tech 2020—Baltimore. Hungary (April 2004) Global Identity Roundtable Discussion—CIA Headquarters (May 2004) Asia NIC 2020 Workshop—Singapore (May 2004) Conference on The Changing Nature of Warfare—Center for Naval Analysis (May 2004) Latin America NIC 2020 Workshop—Santiago. who organized several stimulating conferences on S&T topics. Philip Jenkins. UK (March 2004) Africa NIC 2020 Workshop—Johannesburg. Wealth. Global Power. who provided invaluable insights on global trends pertaining to religion. University of Denver. Nicholas Eberstadt. Maryland (June 2004) Conference on Muslims in Europe—Oxford. DC. Princeton University.year to examine various aspects of US preeminence and critique preliminary drafts of the report. DC (March 2004) Russia and Eurasia NIC 2020 Workshop—Budapest. Chair. Enid Schoettle. who was one of the architects of Global Trends 2015. Virginia (September 2004) Stimson Center-sponsored roundtables on Scenarios—Washington. DC (January 2004) Middle East NIC 2020 Workshop—Wilton Park. England (July 2004) Women in 2020—Washington. an independent contractor who conducted substantial open-source research. DC (December 2003) African Experts’ Roundtable—Washington. England (October 2004) 20 .
Central European University. They are especially useful in thinking about the future during times of great uncertainty. The six international workshops generated an enormous amount of data and analysis on the key drivers that are likely to lead to regional change in the 2020 timeframe. (see box on page 22). the South African Institute for International Affairs. highlighted key regional trends that had global implications. think tanks. Ltd. To jumpstart the global scenario development process. which we believe is the case for the next 15 years. they typically present a one-dimensional view of how the future might unfold and tend to focus attention exclusively on the “prediction. who provided us with useful data and shared their ideas about global trends. and initiated follow-up roundtable discussions and conferences. 21 . the NIC 2020 Project staff created a Scenario Steering Group (SSG)—a small aggregation of respected members of the policy community. Scenarios help decisionmakers to break through conventional thinking and basic assumptions so that a broader range of possibilities can be considered—including new risks and opportunities.” Scenarios offer a more dynamic view of possible futures and focus attention on the underlying interactions that may have particular policy significance. and Shell International. Timothy Sharp and Professor Ewan Anderson of Sharp Global Solutions Ltd arranged a conference in London of UK experts to critique a preliminary draft of the report. The NIC 2020 Project staff conducted additional research. We analyzed the findings from the regional workshops. Nueva Mayoria. We studied extensively key futures work developed in the public and private sectors that employed scenario techniques. These key findings were set aside as the raw material for development of the global scenarios. • Scenario Development Process While straight-line projections are useful in establishing a baseline and positing a mainline scenario.• The following organizations arranged the regional conferences for the project: Wilton Park. Adolfo Ibañez University. Papers that influenced our work include those produced by Goldman Sachs. Bard College. identified the “best practices. and analysts from within the Intelligence Community—to examine summaries of the data collected and consider scenario concepts that take into account the interaction between key drivers of global change. SSG examined the product of the international workshops and explored fledgling scenarios for plausibility and policy relevance. the UK Ministry of Defense. drafted papers. combining trend analysis and scenarios. and looked at the regional product in its totality to identify salient cross-regional trends.” and then developed our own unique approach. and the Asia Society. We also want to thank our colleagues in the US Intelligence Community.
NIC-sponsored effort to update its 2001 monograph The Global Revolution: Bio/Nano/Materials Trends and Their Synergies with IT by 2015—provided substantive guidance by delineating technology trends and their interaction. Global Business Network and author of Inevitable Surprises. sharing their insights on understanding the future based on their vast experience in the field. an integral part of the UK Ministry of Defense. Shell’s team spends about a year conducting interviews and holding workshops to develop and finalize the scenarios. We have incorporated valuable insights from this project and are grateful to NSA for stimulating a rewarding Intelligence Community dialogue on future trends. Meta-Analysis of Published Material on Drivers and Trends. and the application of scenario work to the private sector. In addition. seeking throughout the process to ensure a balance between unconventional thinking and plausibility. the interpretation of insights across disciplines. and providing thought-provoking. including the use of drivers. Alvin and Heidi Toffler participated in our capstone conference. affirmed our intent to develop scenarios for policymakers. technology-driven scenario concepts. formerly the leader of Shell International’s scenariobuilding effort. Shell builds global scenarios every three years to help its leaders make better decisions. Drs. provided us with invaluable insights on the nature of surprise. We also benefited from consultations with other organizations that do futures work: The Joint Doctrine and Concepts Centre. We used a similar approach. reviewed over 50 futures studies. Toffler Associates contributed ideas at several points. commenting extensively on drafts. and opportunities.Scenario and Futures Work That Influenced Our Thinking Our consultations with Ged Davis. The project—Strategic Trends—was designed to assist the MOD in gaining a strategic understanding of future threats. The RAND Corporation—as part of a parallel. The National Security Agency’s project—Tech 2020—also helped identify key technology convergences expected to impact society between now and 2020. Following initial research. 22 . Peter Schwartz. identifying applications that will transform the future. including in association with the NSA Tech 2020 project (see below). Chairman. produced by the UK Defense Evaluation and Research Agency. risks. undertook an ambitious attempt to develop a coherent view of how the world might develop over the next 30 years in ways that could alter the UK’s security. challenges.
The scenarios depicted in this publication were selected for their relevance to policymakers and because they cause us to question key assumptions about the future—but they do not attempt to predict it. 3 To access these new innovations log on to the NIC website: www. Its global sweep and scope required that we engage in a continuing. and debated within the SSG and with other groups that the NIC engaged. The NIC then held a wrap-up workshop with a broader group of experts to examine the eight scenarios.3 Much of this supporting material involving the Empirical Web-boxes Scenario capability has now been transferred to the open. It contained interactive tools to keep our foreign and domestic experts engaged and created “handson” computer simulations that allowed novice and expert alike to develop their own scenarios. Interactive Tools Significantly. worldwide dialogue about the future. we created an interactive. password-protected Web site to serve as a repository for discussion papers and workshop summaries. and ultimately narrow the number of scenarios included in the final publication to four. unclassified NIC Web site with publication of this report. The site also provided a link to massive quantities of basic data for reference and analysis. the NIC 2020 Project also employs information technology and analytic tools unavailable in earlier NIC efforts. eight global scenarios that held particular promise were developed. discuss the merits and weaknesses of each.gov/nic. critiqued. 23 . With the help of CENTRA Technologies.cia. Nor are they mutually exclusive.After scenario concepts were explored.
the role of the United States will be an important variable in how the world is shaped. the world of 2020 will differ markedly from the world of 2004. Halting democratization. New challenges to governance. A spreading radical Islamic ideology. nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and others can mitigate distinctly negative trends. and advance positive trends.Introduction The international order is in the midst of profound change: at no time since the formation of the Western alliance system in 1949 have the shape and nature of international alignments been in such a state of flux as they have during the past decade. Lingering social inequalities. Other significant characteristics include: • • • • The contradictions of globalization. A more pervasive sense of insecurity. Increased pressures on international institutions. Rising powers: the changing geopolitical landscape. 25 . The potential for catastrophic terrorism. • • The accelerating pace of scientific change and the dispersion of dualuse technologies. In addition to the pivotal role of the United States. • • • • • • • As with previous upheavals. The global aging phenomenon. As we survey the next 15 years. multinational corporations. international bodies including international organizations. The very magnitude and speed of change resulting from a globalizing world—regardless of its precise character—will be a defining feature of the world out to 2020. the seeds of major change have been laid in the trends apparent today. Emerging powers. influencing the path that states and nonstate actors choose to follow. As a result. and in the intervening years the United States will face major international challenges that differ significantly from those we face today. Underlying the broad characteristics listed above are a number of specific trends that overlap and play off each other: • The expanding global economy. The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. such as greater insecurity.
Interdependence has widened the effective reach of multinational business.The Contradictions of Globalization Whereas in Global Trends 2015 we viewed globalization—growing interconnectedness reflected in the expanded flows of information. just as the era of globalization in the late 19th and early 20th centuries was reversed by catastrophic war and global depression.’” 27 . The freer flow of people across national borders will continue to face social and political obstacles even when there is a pressing need for migrant workers. and people throughout the world—as among an array of key drivers. technology. and substantially deepen global interdependence. Through the next 15 years. governments would find difficult to expunge. cultural. Real-time communication. it will profoundly shake up the status quo almost everywhere—generating enormous economic. Certain aspects of globalization. services. enabling smaller firms as well as large multinationals to market across borders and bringing heretofore nontraded services into the international arena. “India and China probably will be among the economic heavyweights or ‘haves. and the worldwide information technology revolution. are likely to be irreversible. the collapse of the Soviet Union. and consequently political convulsions. improvements in national governance. such as the growing global inter-connectedness stemming from the information technology revolution. too. is a phenomenon that even repressive Yet the process of globalization. could be substantially slowed or even reversed. At the same time. • It will be difficult. Some features that we associate with the globalization of the 1990s—such as economic and political liberalization—are prone to “fits and starts” and probably will depend on progress in multilateral negotiations. we now view it more as a “mega-trend”—a force so ubiquitous that it will substantially shape all of the other major trends in the world of 2020. although the pace of global economic expansion may ebb and flow. “[By 2020] globalization is likely to take on much more of a ‘nonWestern’ face…” The reach of globalization was substantially broadened during the last 20 years by Chinese and Indian economic liberalization. capital. raise world living standards. it will sustain world economic growth. goods. which has transformed politics almost everywhere. to turn off the phenomenon of entrenched economic interdependence. powerful as it is. and the reduction of conflicts.
and Indonesia. including cutting-edge technology. and Chinese kung-fu movies and Bollywood song-and-dance epics are viewed throughout Asia. $190 billion in Korea. By having the fastest-growing consumer markets. 28 . or collectively three-quarters of global reserves—but the percentage held in dollars will fall. and $120 billion in India. giving it less of a “Made in the USA” character and more of an Asian look and feel. and the returns from Asian stock markets are likely to become an increasing global benchmark for portfolio managers. Japanese anime have many fans in China. rather than adopting those promoted by Western nations or international standards bodies. The international intellectual property rights regime will be profoundly molded by IPR regulatory and law enforcement practices in East and South Asia. especially by China. rising Asia may still accumulate large currency reserves—currently $850 billion in Japan. renminbi. Even Hollywood has begun to reflect these Asian influences—an effect that is likely to accelerate through 2020. perhaps. Either way it will have a large impact.” • In terms of capital flows. A basket of reserve currencies including the yen. including New York and London. possibly spurring internal and regional migrations. attaching fewer strings on currency swaps and giving Asian decision-makers more leeway from the “Washington macro-economic consensus. To the degree that these vast internal migrations spill over national borders—currently. more Asian cultural identity is likely to be rapidly packaged and distributed as incomes rise and communications networks spread. Asia will alter the rules of the globalizing process. Interest-rate decisions taken by Asian central bankers will impact other global financial markets. We already anticipate (as stated in the text) that the Asian giants may use the power of their markets to set industry standards. A new. Asian finance ministers have considered establishing an Asian monetary fund that would operate along different lines from IMF. determining the relative size of the world’s greatest new “megacities” and. Increased labor force participation in the global economy. An expanded Asian-centric cultural identity may be the most profound effect of a rising Asia. which should boost their high performance sectors. • As governments devote more resources to basic research and development. and possibly rupee probably will become standard practice. $500 billion in China. will have enormous effects. including Europe and North America. Asians have already begun to reduce the percentage of students who travel to Europe and North America with Japan and—most striking—China becoming educational magnets. and greater S&T stature. more firms becoming world-class multinationals. rising Asia will continue to attract applied technology from around the world. At the same time. Asia looks set to displace Western countries as the focus for international economic dynamism—provided Asia’s rapid economic growth continues. only a miniscule fraction of China’s 100 million internal migrants end up abroad—they could have major repercussions for other regions. Korean pop singers are already the rage in Japan. India.What Would An Asian Face on Globalization Look Like? Rising Asia will continue to reshape globalization. act as a key variable for political stability/instability for decades to come.
and Indonesia—and multinational companies from today’s advanced nations will adapt their “profiles” and business practices to the demands of these cultures. Large parts of the world will enjoy unprecedented prosperity. citizens are opposed to its perceived “Americanization. The social structures in • • • • . about two-thirds of the world’s population live in countries that are connected to the global economy. The conflation of globalization with US values has in turn fueled anti-Americanism in some parts of the world. gaps will widen between those countries benefiting from globalization—economically.” Currently.” In our interactions. Over the next 15 years.” which they see as threatening to their cultural and religious values. Corporations are in the position to make globalization more palatable to people concerned about preserving unique cultures. technology and goods. New or expanding corporations from countries lifted up by globalization will make their presence felt globally through trade and investments abroad. however. and average per capita income to be roughly 50 percent higher. the benefits of globalization won’t be global. the character of globalization probably will change just as capitalism changed over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries. many foreign experts have noted that while popular opinion in their countries favors the 29 material benefits of globalization. Even by 2020. and a numerically large middle class will be created for the first time in some formerly poor countries. While today’s most advanced nations—especially the United States—will remain important forces driving capital. Countries that have benefited and are now in position to weigh in will seek more power in international bodies and greater influence on the “rules of the game. we see the next 15 years as a period in which the perceptions of the contradictions and uncertainties of a globalized world come even more to the fore than is the case today. globalization is likely to take on much more of a “non-Western face” over the next 15 years. India. An Expanding and Integrating Global Economy The world economy is projected to be about 80 percent larger in 2020 than it was in 2000 and average per capita income to be roughly 50 percent higher. Able to disperse technology widely and promote economic progress in the developing world. and socially—and those underdeveloped nations or pockets within nations that are left behind. • Most of the increase in world population and consumer demand through 2020 will take place in today’s developing nations—especially China. “…the world economy is projected to be about 80 percent larger in 2020 than it was in 2000.Moreover. corporations already are seeking to be “good citizens” by allowing the retention of non-Western practices in the workplaces in which they operate. Indeed. technologically.
which we regard as improbable. could slow its speed. The economies of other developing countries. Globalization would be endangered if the death toll rose into the millions in several major countries and the spread of the disease put a halt to global travel and trade during an extended period. India. the response to SARS showed that international surveillance and control mechanisms are becoming more adept at containing diseases.What Could Derail Globalization? The process of globalization. For similar reasons. . Countries such as China and India 30 will be in a position to achieve higher economic growth than Europe and Japan. and new developments in biotechnologies hold the promise of continued improvement. A slow-down could result from a pervasive sense of economic and physical insecurity that led governments to put controls on the flow of capital. China. those developing countries will be transformed as growth creates a greater middle class. Other developments that could stimulate similar restrictive policies include a popular backlash against globalization prompted. perhaps. Most forecasts to 2020 and beyond continue to show higher annual growth for developing countries than for high-income ones. the value of India’s output could match that of a large European country. On the positive side of the ledger. powerful as it is. other catastrophic developments. such as terrorist attacks. Bangladesh or Pakistan—would be devastating and could spread rapidly throughout the world. However. Some experts believe it is only a matter of time before a new pandemic appears. Given its enormous population— and assuming a reasonable degree of real currency appreciation—the dollar value of China’s gross national product (GNP) may be the second largest in the world by 2020. so long as the expansion continues. Such a situation could come about in response to terrorist attacks killing tens or even hundreds of thousands in several US cities or in Europe or to widespread cyber attacks on information technology. Such a pandemic in megacities of the developing world with poor health-care systems—in SubSaharan Africa. for more traditionally poor countries to be pulled closer into the globalization circle. Border controls and restrictions on technology exchanges would increase economic transaction costs and hinder innovation and economic growth. such as the 1918–1919 influenza virus that killed an estimated 20 million worldwide. Short of a major global conflict. and technology that stalled economic growth. prompting governments to expend enormous resources on overwhelmed health sectors. whose aging work forces may inhibit their growth. another large-scale development that we believe could stop globalization would be a pandemic. goods. there is the potential. by white collar rejection of outsourcing in the wealthy countries and/or resistance in poor countries whose peoples saw themselves as victims of globalization. people. could be substantially slowed or even stopped. Over a long time frame.
world-class sectors.such as Brazil and Indonesia. and economic turbulence is increasingly likely to spill over and upset broader international relations. and China and India may 31 4 Dreaming with the BRICS. Many emerging markets—such as Mexico in the mid-1990s and Asian countries in the late 1990s—suffered negative effects from the abrupt reversals of capital movements. October 2003. and Taiwan have managed in the past to achieve annual rates averaging around 10 percent for a long period. but more of their populations will work on farms. Sustained high-growth rates have historical precedents. Asia’s “giants” and others are not likely to compare qualitatively to the economies of the US or even some of the other rich countries. South Korea. Continued Economic Turbulence. could surpass all but the largest European economies by 2020. They will have some dynamic. Goldman Sachs study. and Japan. however. China already has had about two decades of 7 percent and higher growth rates. . their capital stocks will be less sophisticated.4 • Even with all their dynamic growth. and their financial systems are likely to be less efficient than those of other wealthy countries. Fast-developing countries have historically suffered sudden setbacks.
encounter similar problems. India. World patterns of production. trade. and wages will be transformed. through trade and investment flows. The scale of the potential reversals would be unprecedented. and it is unclear whether current international financial mechanisms would be in a position to forestall wider economic disruption. and restrain wage growth in some occupations. employment. competitive source of low-cost labor at the same time that technological innovation is expanding the range of globally mobile occupations.and white-collar jobs. hundreds of millions of working-age adults will join what is becoming. a more interrelated world labor 32 • Where these labor market pressures lead will depend on how political leaders and .” necessitate professional retooling. and other developing countries into the global economy. • This enormous work force—a growing portion of which will be well educated—will be an attractive. “Competitive pressures will force companies based in the advanced economies to ‘outsource’ many blue.” With the gradual integration of China. market. Competition from these workers will increase job “churning.
a number of regions such as Bihar. there are now estimated to be some 300 million middle-income earners making $2. China’s middle class could make up as much as 40 percent of its population by 2020—double what it is Widening income and regional disparities will not be incompatible with a growing middle class and increasing overall wealth.000 annual income is considered sufficient to spur car purchases in Asia. In India. now—it would be still well below the 60 percent level for the US. such resources could unleash widespread protectionist sentiments. that SubSaharan Africa will be far behind even under the most optimistic scenario. for example. although much of the west and south may have a large middle class by 2020. • Even if. which is already evident. • In India. Both the number of middle earners and their income levels are likely to rise rapidly. Even the most optimistic forecasts admit that economic growth fueled by globalization will leave many countries in poverty over the next 15 years.000 a year. Although the living standards of many people in developing and underdeveloped countries will rise over the next 15 years. Uttar Pradesh. • Scenarios developed by the World Bank indicate. countries not connected to the world economy will continue to suffer. however. There will continue to be large numbers of poor even in the rapidly emerging economies. Experts estimate it could take China another 30 years beyond 2020 for per capita incomes to reach current rates in developed economies. and the proportion of those in the middle stratum is likely to be significantly less than is the case for today’s developed nations. As long as sufficiently robust economic growth and labor market flexibility are sustained. Against the backdrop of a global economic recession. and Orissa will remain underdeveloped. per capita incomes in most countries will not compare to those of Western nations by 2020. The region currently has the largest 33 . thus rapidly rising income levels for a growing middle class will combine to mean a huge consumption explosion. • • Mobility and Laggards. • The large number of new service sector jobs that will be created in India and elsewhere in the developing world. intense international competition is unlikely to cause net job “loss” in the advanced economies. will likely exceed the supply of workers with those specific skills in the advanced economies. for example. Job turnover in advanced economies will continue to be driven more by technological change and the vicissitudes of domestic rather than international competition. but their incomes will continue to be substantially below averages in the US and other rich countries even by 2020.policymakers respond. And per capita income for China’s middle class would be substantially less than equivalents in the West. as one study estimates. However.000-$4. a $3. Moreover.
applications that improve food and potable water production.” Both countries are investing in basic research in these fields and are well placed to be leaders in a number of key fields. commercial. and expansion of wireless communications and language translation technologies that will facilitate transnational business. The international community is likely to face choices about whether. Eurasia.share of people living on less than $1 per day. and efforts by multinational corporations to diversify their hightech operations. Moreover. If the growing problem of abject poverty and bad governance in troubled states in Sub-Saharan Africa. and reduce privacy. future technology trends will be marked not only by accelerating advancements in individual technologies but also by a force-multiplying convergence of the technologies— information. although the stepped-up technology revolution will not benefit everyone equally. and at what cost to intervene. Such interactions of these technology trends— coupled with agile manufacturing methods and equipment as well as energy. biological. global diffusion of technology will continue. and Latin America persists. Materials enabled with nanotechnology’s sensors and facilitated by information technology will produce myriad devices that will enhance health and alter business practices and models. the Middle East. Europe risks slipping behind Asia in creating some of these technologies.” The Technology Revolution The trend toward rapid. The United States is still in a position to retain its overall lead. To Adaptive Nations Go Technology ‘s Spoils. New technology applications will foster dramatic improvements in human knowledge and individual well-being. materials. and nanotechnologies—that have the potential to revolutionize all dimensions of life. water. • Among the drivers of the growing availability of technology will be the growing two-way flow of high-tech brain power between developing countries and Western countries. Such materials will provide new knowledge about environment. and transportation technologies—will help China’s and India’s prospects for joining the “First World. Such benefits include medical breakthroughs that begin to cure or . Forced migration also is likely to be an important dimension of any downward spiral. improve security. and even social and political relationships. the increasing size of the technologically literate workforce in some developing countries. although it must increasingly compete with Asia and may lose significant ground in some sectors. The gulf between “haves” and “have-nots” may widen as the greatest benefits of globalization accrue to countries and groups that can access and 34 “…the greatest benefits of globalization will accrue to countries and groups that can access and adopt new technologies. and pandemic disease. these areas will become more fertile grounds for terrorism. mitigate some common diseases and stretch lifespans. organized crime. how.
globalized markets and the growing proportion of private sector capital in basic R&D will undermine nation-state efforts to keep tabs on sensitive technologies. globally available technologies—whether the technologies are acquired through a country’s own basic research or from technology leaders. communication. • As nations like China and India surge forward in funding critical science and engineering education. a nation’s level of technological achievement generally will be defined in terms of its investment in integrating and applying the new. Yet. control. increasingly being developed for a range of applications in both everyday. and biometric devices—may become an increasingly important factor in international trade policy and foreign relations. and other infrastructure investments. because of the purchasing power of their huge markets. • Indeed. joint ventures. information security. commercial settings and in critical military applications the monitoring and control of the export of technological components will become more difficult. research.adopt new technologies. such as sensors. even the poorest countries will be able to leverage prolific. and materials. concealable sensors. international IPR enforcement is on course for dramatic change. skipping over phases that other high-tech leaders such as the United States and Europe had to traverse in order to advance. and market reforms—and not solely because they are poor. Countries like China and India will. Additionally. be able to shape the implementation of some technologies and step on the intellectual property rights of others. computing. The attractiveness of these large markets will tempt multinational firms to overlook IPR indiscretions that only minimally affect their bottom lines. Rapid technological advances outside the United States could enable other countries to set the rules for design. Those that employ such policies can leapfrog stages of development. Moreover. standards. cheap technologies to fuel—although at a slower rate—their own development. there will be increasing pressure from a humanitarian and moral perspective to “release” the property rights “for the good of mankind. Nations that remain behind in adopting technologies are likely to be those that have failed to pursue policies that support application of new technologies—such as good governance. as many of the expected advancements in technology are anticipated to be in medicine. universal education.” Nations also will face serious challenges in oversight. and implementation. China and India are well positioned to achieve such breakthroughs. With the same technology. and intellectual property rights (IPR). and for molding privacy. they will make considerable strides in manufacturing and marketing a full range of technology applications— from software and pharmaceuticals to wireless sensors and smart-materials products. and prohibition of sensitive technologies. 35 . • Questions concerning a country’s ethical practices in the technology realm—such as with genetically modified foods. data privacy. biological material research. Indeed.
Lastly. On the positive side. and the possibility of discovering DNA signatures that indicate predisposition for disease. who must prepare against them all. Over the next 10 to 20 years there is a risk that advances in biotechnology will augment not only defensive measures but also offensive biological warfare (BW) agent development and allow the creation of advanced biological agents designed to target specific systems—human. it also poses a major security concern. or anti-social behavior. agriculture. • However. As biotechnology information becomes more widely available. as biotechnology advances become more ubiquitous. biodefense.Biotechnology: Panacea and Weapon The biotechnological revolution is at a relatively early stage. and related fields. while competitive market pressures increasingly will induce firms and research institutions to seek technically capable partners in developing countries. Biotechnology research and innovations derived from continued US investments in Homeland Security—such as new therapies that might block a pathogen’s ability to enter the body—may eventually have revolutionary healthcare applications that extend beyond protecting the US from a terrorist attack. 36 . An attacker would appear to have an easier job—because of the large array of possibilities available—than the defender. or crop. biotechnology could be a “leveling” agent between developed and developing nations. the number of people who can potentially misuse such information and wreak widespread loss of life will increase. stem cell research. animal. helping to resolve the ongoing humanitarian crisis in SubSaharan Africa and diminishing the potentially serious drag on economic growth in developing countries like India and China. and major advances in the biological sciences coupled with information technology will continue to punctuate the 21st century. Moreover. • Possible breakthroughs in biomedicine such as an antiviral barrier will reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS. even as the dispersion of biotechnology promises a means of improving the quality of life. Research will continue to foster important discoveries in innovative medical and public health technologies. stopping the progress of offensive BW programs will become increasingly difficult. More developing countries probably will invest in indigenous biotechnology developments. certain cognitive abilities. some biotechnology techniques that may facilitate major improvements in health also will spur serious ethical and privacy concerns over such matters as comprehensive genetic profiling. spreading dramatic economic and healthcare enhancements to the neediest areas of the world. environmental remediation.
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. 5 The OECD. However. technology will be a source of tension in 2020: from competition over creating and attracting the most critical component of technological advancement—people—to resistance among some cultural or political groups to the perceived privacyrobbing or homogenizing effects of pervasive technology. particularly those in Sub-Saharan Africa. Lingering Social Inequalities Even with the potential for technological breakthroughs and the dispersion of new technologies. according to UNESCO. China. where more than 20 million are believed to have died from HIV/AIDS since the early 1980s. including the most populous. Russia. • The rapid rise in adult deaths caused by AIDS has left an unprecedented number of orphans in Africa. illiteracy rates among women will be almost twice as high as those among men. an outgrowth of the Marshall Planera Organization for European Economic Cooperation. Moreover.and less-developed nations began to converge markedly. 37 . Studies show that household incomes drop by 50 to 80 percent when key earners become infected. In “second wave” HIV/AIDS countries—Nigeria. and the Central Asian states—the disease will continue to spread beyond traditional high-risk groups into the general population. the social and economic impact of the millions already infected with the disease will play out over the next 15 years. Ukraine. over 40 countries— including many African countries. Between 1950 and 1980 life expectancy between the more. by US Census Bureau projections. The debilitation and death of millions of people resulting from the AIDS pandemic will have a growing impact on the economies of the hardest-hit countries. boasts 30 members from among developed and emerging-market nations and active relationships with 70 others around the world. As HIV/AIDS spreads. Brazil. and the situation is certain to worsen. significant social welfare disparities within the developing and between developing and OECD countries will remain until 2020. Over the next 15 years. Today in some African countries one in ten children is an orphan. India.At the same time. Even if effective HIV/AIDS prevention measures are adopted in various countries. this probably will continue to be the case for many developing countries. which could help reduce inequalities. it has the potential to derail the economic prospects of many up-and-coming economic powers. illiteracy rates of people 15 years and older will fall. Central Asian states. and Russia—are projected to have a lower life expectancy in 2010 than they did in 1990. but they will still be 17 times higher in poor and developing countries than those in OECD5 countries. Ethiopia.
boys are likely to be given first priority. women continue to receive less pay than men. Findings from the July 2004 Global AIDS conference held in Bangkok reveal that the percentage of HIV-infected women is rising on every continent and in every major region in the world except Western Europe and Australia. Factors Impeding Equality In regions where high youth bulges intersect with historical patterns of patriarchal bias. (Continued on next page…) 38 . Young women comprise 75 percent of those between the ages of 15 to 24 who are infected with HIV globally. where there is a pervasive “son preference” reinforced by government population control policies. wage gaps and regional disparities will persist. is likely to expand. Although women’s share in the global work force will continue to rise. but UN and World Health Organization data suggest that the gender gap will not have been closed even in the developed countries and still will be wide in developing regions. if schools cannot educate all. • Although the difference between women’s and men’s earnings narrowed during the past 10 years. For example. Yet views are changing among the younger generation. In countries such as China and India. political participation. women will have gained more rights and freedoms—in terms of education. which already earns an estimated $4 billion every year. Certain factors will tend to work against gender equality while others will have a positive impact. In the Middle East. a UN study in 2002 showed that in 27 of 39 countries surveyed—both in OECD and developing countries—women’s wages were 20 to 50 percent less than men’s for work in manufacturing. The feminization of HIV/AIDS is another worrisome trend.The Status of Women in 2020 By 2020. Such statistics suggest that the global female trafficking industry. and work force equality—in most parts of the world. the added pressure on infrastructure will mean intensified competition for limited public resources and an increased probability that females will not receive equal treatment. many younger Muslims recognize the importance of educated wives as potential contributors to family income. women face increased risk not only of female infanticide but also of kidnapping and smuggling from surrounding regions for the disproportionately greater number of unattached males. For instance. the preference for male children in China has led to an estimated shortfall of 30 million women. Thus far. for example. making it the second most profitable criminal activity behind global drug trafficking.
particularly in the Middle East. Women in developing regions often turn to nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to provide basic services. it must deliver stability through inclusiveness and accountability. According to World Bank analysis. Other Benefits The stakes for achieving gender parity are high and not just for women. • By 2005. For regions suffering political oppression. increases in the level of ICT infrastructure tend to improve gender equality in education and employment.(continued…) The Status of Women in 2020 Factors Contributing to Equality A broader reform agenda that includes good governance and low unemployment levels is essential to raising the status of women in many countries. UN leaders pledged to achieve gender equity in primary and secondary education by the year 2005 in every country of the world. A growing body of empirical literature suggests that gender equality in education promotes economic growth and reduces child mortality and malnutrition. 39 . At the Millennium Summit. Reducing unemployment levels is crucial because countries already unable to provide employment for male job-seekers are not likely to improve employment opportunities for women. ICT also will enable women to form social and political networks. The spread of information and communication technologies (ICT) offers great promise. The current trend toward decentralization and devolution of power in most states will afford women increased opportunities for political participation. the 45 countries that are not on course to meet the UN targets are likely to suffer 1 to 3 percent lower GDP per capita growth as a result. these networks could become a 21st century counterpart to the 1980s’ Solidarity Movement against the Communist regime in Poland. Despite only modest gains in the number of female officeholders at the national level—women currently are heads of state in only eight countries—female participation in local and provincial politics is steadily rising and will especially benefit rural women removed from the political center of a country. International development experts emphasize that while good governance need not fit a Western democratic mold. NGOs could become even more important to the status of women by 2020 as women in developing countries face increased threats and acquire IT networking capabilities.
Under this scenario. Although benefiting from energy price increases. and their huge. growing tensions over Taiwan may be on the verge of triggering an economic meltdown. we identify some lessons to be drawn from our fictional account. At the end of the scenario.Fictional Scenario: Davos World This scenario provides an illustration of how robust economic growth over the next 15 years could reshape the globalization process—giving it a more non-Western face. Many boats are lifted. consumerdriven domestic markets become a major focus for global business and technology. while some mediumsized emerging countries are squeezed. It is depicted in the form of a hypothetical letter from the head of the World Economic Forum to a former US Federal Reserve chairman on the eve of the annual Davos meeting in 2020. 40 . including the United States. the Middle East lags behind and threatens the future of globalization. In addition. have to contend with job insecurity despite the many benefits to be derived from an expanding global economy. but some founder. the Asian giants as well as other developing states continue to outpace most “Western” economies. Africa does better than one might think. Western powers. including the need for more management by leaders lest globalization slip off the rails.
but most economists believe it also will sustain high levels of economic growth. and large populations will be at the root of the expected rapid rise in economic and political power for both countries. • The population of the region that served as the locus for most 20thcentury history—Europe and Russia— will decline dramatically in relative terms. Competition from “the China price” already powerfully restrains manufactures prices worldwide. led by China and India. active promotion of high technologies. Yet how China and India exercise their growing power and whether they relate cooperatively or competitively to other powers in the international system are key uncertainties. for example. 47 . not only in share of manufacturing but also of the world’s exports.6 The “arriviste” powers—China. It should easily surpass Japan in a few years.Rising Powers: The Changing Geopolitical Landscape The likely emergence of China and India as new major global players—similar to the rise of Germany in the 19th century and the United States in the early 20th century—will transform the geopolitical landscape. In the same way that commentators refer to the 1900s as the “American Century. • Because of the sheer size of China’s and India’s populations—projected by the US Census Bureau to be 1. with impacts potentially as dramatic as those of the previous two centuries. and perhaps others such as Brazil and Indonesia—could usher in a new set of international alignments.3 billion respectively by 2020—their standard of living need not approach Western levels for these countries to become important economic powers. India currently lags behind China (see box on page 53) on most economic measures. Only an abrupt reversal of the process of globalization or a major upheaval in these countries would prevent their rise.” the early 21st century may be seen as the time when some in the developing world. China. July 2001. its share having risen from four to 12 percent in the past decade. A combination of sustained high economic growth. potentially marking a definitive break with some of the post-World War II institutions and practices. is now the third largest producer of manufactured goods. come into their own. India.4 billion and almost 1. Long-Term Global Demographic Trends: Reshaping the Geopolitical Landscape. • • • • 6 CIA. almost all population growth will occur in developing nations that until recently have occupied places on the fringes of the global economy (see graphic on page 48). expanding military capabilities.
South Africa. Japan. Rising Asia China’s desire to gain “great power” status on the world stage will be reflected in its greater economic leverage over 48 . although Europe. and even Russia— which may reinforce the growing role of China and India even though by themselves these other countries would have more limited geopolitical impact.At the same time. Finally. The growing demand for energy will drive many of these likely changes on the geopolitical landscape. and Russia will be hard pressed to deal with aging populations. other changes are likely to shape the new landscape. China’s and India’s perceived need to secure access to energy supplies will propel these countries to become more global rather than just regional powers. while Europe and Russia’s co-dependency is likely to be strengthened. more united Europe and a more internationally activist Japan. These include the possible economic rise of other states—such as Brazil. we do not discount the possibility of a stronger. Indonesia.
resulting in heightened prospects for political instability. however. and various Southeast Asian nations. regional security would weaken. 49 . however. Beijing’s failure to maintain its economic growth would itself have a global impact. If China’s economy takes a downward turn. and illegal migration. narcotics trafficking. potentially accommodating themselves to its preferences. a first-rate military power. by any measure. China will overtake Russia and others as the second largest defense spender after the United States over the next two decades and will be.countries in the region and elsewhere as well as its steps to strengthen its military. sophisticated submarines. and other countries of the Middle East. and increasing numbers of ballistic missiles. • Chinese Government failure to satisfy popular needs for job creation could trigger political unrest. and its rise will have an impact not only in Asia but also to the north—Central Asia. East Asian states are adapting to the advent of a more powerful China by forging closer economic and political ties with Beijing. • Faced with a rapidly aging society beginning in the 2020s. Economic setbacks and crises of confidence could slow China’s emergence as a full-scale great power. • China will continue to strengthen its military through developing and acquiring modern weapons. also may try to appeal to each other and the United States to counterbalance China’s growing influence. Like China. ” The rise of India also will present strategic complications for the region. India will be an economic magnet for the region. • Japan. Iran. including in such organizations as the World Trade Organization (WTO). “Economic setbacks and crises of confidence could slow China’s emergence as a full-scale great power…. particularly on sensitive issues like Taiwan. India seeks to bolster regional cooperation both for strategic reasons and because of its desire to increase its leverage with the West. Taiwan. crime. China may be hard pressed to deal with all the issues linked to such serious demographic problems. including advanced fighter aircraft. It is unlikely to have developed by then the same coping mechanisms—such as sophisticated pension and health-care systems—characteristic of Western societies.
governments in Southeast Asia—Malaysia. Singapore. At the same time. but they appear unlikely to become such economic engines that they will be able to alter the flow of economic power within and through their Just like China. • Chinese-Indian bilateral trade is expected to rise rapidly from its current small base of $7. India will face stark choices as its population increases and its surface and ground water become even more polluted. Russia. Their growth undoubtedly will benefit their neighbors.6 billion. land. India will seek to strengthen its ties with countries in the region without excluding China. India may stumble and experience political and economic volatility with pressure on resources— 51 . and other countries—may move closer to India to help build a potential geopolitical counterweight to China.As India’s economy grows. and energy supplies— intensifying as it modernizes. For example. and South Africa also are poised to achieve economic growth. although they are unlikely to exercise the same political clout as China or India. Indonesia. Thailand. according to Goldman Sachs and other experts. Other Rising States? Brazil. water.
compound unemployment. RAND assessed the probability of all of these adverse developments occurring before 2015 as very low but estimated that should they all occur their cumulative effect would be to reduce Chinese economic growth by between 7.8 and 2. poverty. and reduce foreign direct investment. and unemployment to a high of between 1. • 52 .2 percentage points for epidemic disease. and social unrest Energy consumption and prices Taiwan and other potential conflicts RAND’s estimates of the negative growth impact of these adverse developments occurring separately on a one-at-a-time basis range from a low of between 0.7 percentage points—effectively wiping out growth during that time frame.3 and 0. social unrest. would also worsen corruption. for example.Risks to Chinese Economic Growth Whether China’s rise occurs smoothly is a key uncertainty. Its “Fault Lines in China’s Economic Terrain” highlighted: • • • • • • • • Fragility of the financial system and state-owned enterprises Economic effects of corruption Water resources and pollution Possible shrinkage of foreign direct investment HIV/AIDS and epidemic diseases Unemployment. In 2003. and social unrest. • The study assessed the probability that none of these developments would occur before 2015 as low and noted that they would be more likely to occur in clusters rather than individually – financial distress. poverty.4 and 10.8 percentage points for the effects of poverty. the RAND Corporation identified and assessed eight major risks to the continued rapid growth of China’s economy over the next decade.
whereas. China’s will diminish and age quite rapidly. In addition. India has several factors working for it: • • Its working-age population will continue to increase well into the 2020s. India’s growth rate has lagged China’s by about 20 percent. making it somewhat less vulnerable to political instability. In recent years.India vs. India has overtaken South Africa as the country with the largest number of HIV-infected people.” the legacy of a stifling bureaucracy still remains. especially the risks to political stability and the challenges facing China’s financial sector as it moves toward a fuller market orientation. But China’s ability to sustain its current pace is probably more at risk than is India’s. The bottom line: India would be hard-pressed to accelerate economic growth rates to levels above those reached by China in the past decade. India possesses working capital markets and world-class firms in some important hightech sectors. 53 . amount of foreign investment (today a small fraction of China’s). China might find its own path toward an “Asian democracy” that may not involve major instability or disruption to its economic growth—but there are a large number of unknowns. particularly in rural areas. India could emerge as the world’s fastest-growing economy as we head towards 2020. Nevertheless. according to most measures such as overall GDP. growth of regional and caste-based political parties. • On the other hand. should China’s growth slow by several percentage points. citing the overall decline of secularism. Both also face a potentially serious HIV/AIDS epidemic that could seriously affect economic prospects if not brought under control. due to the one-child policy. who have not enjoyed major benefits from economic growth. and per capita income. and the 2002 “pogrom” against the Muslim minority in Gujarat as evidence of a worsening trend. In many other respects. India has well-entrenched democratic institutions. India is also faced with the burden of having a much larger proportion of its population in desperate poverty. China: Long-Term Prospects India lags economically behind China. which China has yet to achieve. Several factors could weaken China’s prospects for economic growth. both China and India still resemble other developing states in the problems each must overcome. while India has clearly evolved beyond what the Indians themselves referred to as the 2-3 percent “Hindu growth rate. According to recent UN data. some observers see communal tensions just below the surface. The country is not yet attractive for foreign investment and faces strong political challenges as it continues down the path of economic reform. some experts believe that India might overtake China as the fastest growing economy in the world. whereas China faces the continuous challenge of reconciling an increasingly urban and middle-class population with an essentially authoritarian political system. including the large numbers.
Such high growth would presume an improved investment environment. the autonomous republics in North Caucasus risk failure and will remain a source of endemic tension and conflict. While these social and political factors limit the extent to which Russia can be a major global player. With slower growth its economy would be unable to absorb the unemployed or under-employed labor force. partner both for the established powers. and solid economic institutions. thus heightening the risk of greater political instability.regions—a key element in Beijing and New Delhi’s political and economic rise. and conflict—are likely to get worse over the next 15 years. Experts assess that over the course of the next decade and a half Indonesia may revert to high growth of 6 to 7 percent. in the complex world of 2020 Russia could be an important. Experts acknowledge that Brazil is a pivotal state with a vibrant democracy. including intellectual property rights protection and openness to foreign investment. Inside Russia. if troubled. which along with its expected increase in its relatively large population from 226 to around 250 million would make it one of the largest developing economies. the government is still beset by stubborn secessionist movements. and a potentially explosive AIDS situation. Luring foreign direct investment and advancing regional stability and equitable integration—including trade and economic infrastructure—probably will remain axioms of Brazilian foreign policy. poor medical care. limiting prospects for diversifying its economy. Brazil is a natural partner both for the United States and Europe and for rising powers China and India and has the potential to enhance its leverage as a net exporter of oil. Brazil’s success or failure in balancing pro-growth economic measures with an ambitious social agenda that reduces poverty and income inequality will have a profound impact on regionwide economic performance and governance during the next 15 years. but Russia faces a severe demographic challenge resulting from low birth rates. The problems along its southern borders—including Islamic extremism. such as the United States and Europe. The potential also exists for Russia to enhance its leverage with others as a result of its position as a major oil and gas exporter. and the rising powers of China and India. 54 . US Census Bureau projections show the working-age population likely to shrink dramatically by 2020. a large national patrimony. weak states with poor governance. Russia’s energy resources will give a boost to economic growth. Although an Indonesian national identity has been forged in the five decades since independence. Russia’s present trajectory away from pluralism toward bureaucratic authoritarianism also decreases the chances it will be able to attract foreign investment outside the energy sector. Indonesia is an amalgam of divergent ethnic and religious groups. terrorism. a diversified economy and an entrepreneurial population.
As Northeast Asia acts as a political and economic center of gravity for the countries of the South. Japan’s relationship with the US and China will be shaped by China’s rise and the nature of any settlement on the Korean Peninsula and over Taiwan. rising populations will challenge the capacity of governments to provide basic services. High population concentrations and increasing ease of travel will facilitate the spread of infectious diseases. The diversion of investment towards China and India also could spur Southeast Asia to implement plans for a single economic community and investment area by 2020. The regional experts felt that the possibility of major inter-state conflict remains higher in Asia than in other regions. but rising nationalism in China and fears in the US of China as an emerging strategic competitor could fuel an increasingly antagonistic relationship. 55 . risking the outbreak of pandemics.Asia: The Cockpit for Global Change? According to the regional experts we consulted. and the US—will undergo significant change by 2020. China also could face sustained armed unrest from separatist movements along its western borders. The United States and China have strong incentives to avoid confrontation. Population and poverty pressures will spur migration within the region and to Northeast Asia. China and other countries in Northeast Asia. At the same time. Malaysia. Japan. which will adapt to the continuing spread of globalization. the Korean Peninsula and Taiwan Strait crises are likely to come to a head by 2020. risking conflict with global repercussions. violence within Southeast Asian states—in the form of separatist insurgencies and terrorism—could intensify. Finally. The North/South divisions are likely to be reflected in a cultural split between non-Muslim Northeast Asia. The experts also felt that demographic factors will play a key role in shaping regional developments. while at least some states in the South may lag economically and will continue to face deep ethnic and religious cleavages. and Southeast Asia. where Islamic fundamentalism may increasingly make inroads in such states as Indonesia. the roles of and interaction between the region’s major powers—China. Northeast and Southeast Asia will progress along divergent paths—the countries of the North will become wealthier and more powerful. In Southeast Asian countries such as The Philippines and Indonesia. In their view. Asia will exemplify most of the trends that we see as shaping the world over the next 15 years. will experience a slowing of population growth and a “graying” of their peoples over the next 15 years. and parts of The Philippines. including South Korea. parts of Southeast Asia will be a source of transnational threats—terrorism and organized crime—to the countries of the North. China also will have to face the consequences of a gender imbalance caused by its one-child policy.
stable democratic governments. unified trade bloc.“Russia’s energy resources will give a boost to economic growth. but Russia faces a severe demographic challenge…[with its] working-age population likely to shrink dramatically. for example. but prospects for its economy—the largest in the region—look promising. “…Europe’s strength may be in providing… a model of global and regional governance to the rising powers…” By most measures—market size. Opinion polls indicate growing public support for Japan becoming a more “normal” country with a proactive foreign policy. At some point. 26 November 2003. highly skilled work force. growing Chinese economic power is likely to spur increased activism by Japan on the world stage. The “Aging” Powers Japan’s economic interests in Asia have shifted from Southeast Asia toward Northeast Asia—especially China and the China-Japan-Korea triangle—over the past two decades and experts believe the aging of Japan’s work force will reinforce dependence on outbound investment and greater economic integration with Northeast Asia. If anything. and GDP—an enlarged Europe will have the ability to increase its weight on the international scene. South African experts adept at scenario-building and gaming see the country’s future as lying with partnerships formed outside the region. Japan may have to choose between “balancing” against or “bandwagoning” with China. South Africa’s economy is projected to grow over the next decade in the 4. single currency. Its crossroads location and the growing diversity of its population—particularly in pulling in new members—provides it with a unique ability to forge strong bonds both to the south with the Muslim world and Africa and to the east with Russia and Eurasia. Japanese concerns regarding regional stability are likely to grow owing to the ongoing crisis over North Korea. Experts see various trajectories that Japan could follow depending on such factors as the extent of China’s growing strength. a resurgence or lack of continued vitality in Japan’s economy. especially China7.to 5-percent range if reformist policies are implemented. Asia’s Shifting Strategic Landscape. According to some forecasts. Foreign Policy Research Institute.” South Africa will continue to be challenged by AIDS and widespread crime and poverty. Experts disagree over whether South Africa can be an engine for more than southern Africa or will instead forge closer relationships with middling or up-and-coming powers on other continents. 7 56 . the level of US influence in the region and how developments in Korea and Taiwan play out. At the same time. continuing tensions between China and Taiwan and the challenge of integrating rising China and India without major disruption.
particularly if they are searching for a “Western” alternative to strong reliance on the United States. • Unlike the expansion when Ireland. West European economies will need to find several million workers to fill positions vacated by retiring workers. and Germany is likely to fall further behind China and other countries over the next 15 years. education. historically have had difficulties in coordinating and rationalizing defense spending in such a way as to boost capabilities despite progress on a greater EU security and defense role. • Defense spending by individual European countries. March 2003. 8 57 . a model of global and regional governance to the rising powers.4— well below the 2. an EU-China alliance. Either European countries adapt their work forces. a path might be found that can help Europe to accommodate and integrate its growing Muslim population.The extent to which Europe enhances its clout on the world stage depends on its ability to achieve greater political cohesion.1 replacement level. France. Aging populations and shrinking work forces in most countries will have an important impact on the continent. is no longer unthinkable. While its military forces have little capacity for power projection. Over the next 15 years. EU member states Strategic Trends. creating a serious but not insurmountable economic and political challenge. Europe’s total fertility rate is about 1. reform their social welfare. Collectively these countries will outspend all others except the US and possibly China8. Joint Doctrine and Concepts Centre. Spain. Brussels has a fraction of the structural funds available for quickly bringing up the Central Europeans to the economic levels of the rest of the EU. Possible Turkish membership presents both challenges—because of Turkey’s size and religious and cultural differences—as well as opportunities. provided that mutual acceptance and agreement can be achieved. In the short term. and tax systems. Whether the EU will develop an army is an open question. For example. In working through the problems. Portugal and Greece joined the Common Market in the 1970s and early 1980s. in part because its creation could duplicate or displace NATO forces. though still unlikely. including the UK. taking in ten new east European members probably will be a “drag” on the deepening of European Union (EU) institutions necessary for the development of a cohesive and shared “strategic vision” for the EU’s foreign and security policy. and accommodate growing immigrant populations (chiefly from Muslim countries) or they face a period of protracted economic stasis that could threaten the huge successes made in creating a more United Europe. Europe’s strength may be in providing. through its commitment to multilateralism.
pronounced trend of “brain drain” from the Middle East and Africa to diminish.Global Aging and Migration According to US Census Bureau projections. 9 Nicholas Eberstadt. 58 . to a lesser degree. Tunisia. including Arab and Muslim states such as Turkey. Russia. Most experts do not expect the current.9 China is a special case where the transition to an aging population—nearly 400 million Chinese will be over 65 by 2020—is particularly abrupt and the emergence of a serious gender imbalance could have increasing political.” Foreign Policy Research Institute’s Watch on the West. Hong Kong. and Japan. but also most parts of developed regions such as Australia. also are dropping below the level of 2. Taiwan. Migration has the potential to help solve the problem of a declining work force in Europe and. about half of the world’s population lives in countries or territories whose fertility rates are not sufficient to replace their current populations. However. it could increase with the expected growth of employment opportunities. July 2004. and Lebanon. Certain countries in the developing world. This includes not only Europe. particularly in Europe. today one-half of Nigerian-born medical doctors and PhDs reside in the United States. Indeed. Russia and Japan and probably will become a more important feature of the world of 2020. • Remittances from migrant workers are increasingly important to developing economies. New Zealand. social. and South Korea. and even international repercussions. Recipient countries face the challenge of integrating new immigrants so as to minimize potential social conflict. North America. Algeria. even if many of the migrants do not have legal status. and East Asian countries like Singapore. where the problem is particularly severe. Some economists believe remittances are greater than foreign direct investment in most poor countries and in some cases are more valuable than exports. Number 5. An unfunded nationwide pension arrangement means many Chinese may have to continue to work into old age. Vol 5.1 children per woman necessary to maintain long-term population stability. “Four Surprises in Global Demography.
with an increasing share provided by petroleum. The International Energy Agency assesses that with substantial investment in new capacity. • Renewable energy sources such as hydrogen. • Despite the trend toward more efficient energy use. and wind energy probably will account for only about 8 percent of the energy supply in 2020. and India all plan expansions of their nuclear power sector.Growing Demands for Energy Growing demands for energy— especially by the rising powers—through 2020 will have substantial impacts on geopolitical relations. While Russia. solar. China. The single most important factor affecting the demand for energy will be global economic growth. Continued 59 . particularly that of China and India. nuclear power probably will decline globally in absolute terms in the next decade. total energy consumed probably will rise by about 50 percent in the next two decades compared to a 34 percent expansion from 1980–2000. overall energy supplies will be sufficient to meet growing global demand.
for example—successfully assimilating millions of new Muslim migrant workers in a short period of time. Europe’s future international role depends greatly on whether it undertakes major structural economic and social reforms to deal with its aging work-force problem. The experts believe that the EU’s economic growth rate is dragged down by Germany and its restrictive labor laws. Experts believe an economic “leap forward”—stirring renewed confidence and enthusiasm in the European project—could trigger such enhanced international action. enlargement is likely to stop with current members. In such a scenario. it is harder to see a country— Germany. If no changes were implemented Europe could experience a further overall slowdown. such as encouraging young women to take a few years off to start families in return for guarantees of reentry. It is possible to imagine European nations successfully adapting their work forces and social welfare systems to these new realities.Could Europe Become A Superpower? According to the regional experts we consulted. many experts believe the EU has to continue streamlining the complicated decision-making process that hinders collective action. posing a longterm problem. Encouraging the “younger elderly” (50-65 year olds) to work longer or return to the work force also would help ease labor shortages. Western Europe will have to integrate a growing Muslim population. Barring increased legal entry may only lead to more illegal migrants who will be harder to integrate. even if they remained nominal members. In addition to the need for increased economic growth and social and welfare reform. • The experts felt that the current welfare state is unsustainable and the lack of any economic revitalization could lead to the splintering or. Structural reforms there—and in France and Italy to lesser extents— remain key to whether the EU as a whole can break out of its slow-growth pattern. 61 . as shown in Sweden’s successful example of providing more flexibility for businesses while conserving many worker rights. multidimensional approach including: • More legal immigration and better integration of workers likely to be coming mainly from North Africa and the Middle East. The demographic picture will require a concerted. Even if more guest workers are not allowed in. making accession unlikely for Turkey and the Balkan countries. particularly on foreign policy. not to mention long-term possibilities such as Russia or Ukraine. Experts are dubious that the present political leadership is prepared to make even this partial break. believing a looming budgetary crisis in the next five years would be the more likely trigger for reform. at worst. A total break from the post-World War II welfare state model may not be necessary. A federal Europe—unlikely in the 2020 timeframe—is not necessary to enable it to play a weightier international role so long as it can begin to mobilize resources and fuse divergent views into collective policy goals. Increased flexibility in the workplace. Doing just enough to keep growth rates at one or two percent may result in some expansion. and individual countries might go their own way. undermining its ambitions to play a heavyweight international role. disintegration of the European Union. but Europe probably would not be able to play a major international role commensurate with its size.
For more than ten years Chinese officials have openly asserted that production from Chinese firms The Geopolitics of Gas. Latin America. which lack adequate domestic energy resources. thus. is among the key uncertainties. In trying to maximize and diversify its energy supplies. Chinese firms are being directed to invest in projects in the Caspian region. is not yet a fungible source of energy. • Experts believe China will need to boost its energy consumption by about 150 percent and India will need to nearly double its consumption by 2020 to maintain a steady rate of economic growth. and the interdependency of pipeline delivery— producers must be connected to consumers. Beijing’s growing energy requirements are likely to prompt China to increase its activist role in the world—in the Middle East. China worries about being vulnerable to pressure from the United States which Chinese officials see as having an aggressive energy policy that can be used against Beijing. West Africa and South China Sea—that are being counted on to provide increased output involve substantial political or economic risk. The United States will look almost exclusively to Canada and other western hemisphere suppliers. will have to ensure continued access to outside suppliers. in part because of Europe’s expected lower economic growth and more efficient use of energy. perhaps accompanied by a major disruption of oil supplies. Venezuela. and Eurasia. Indonesia. but the relationship between gas suppliers and consumers is likely to be particularly strong because of the restrictions on delivery mechanisms. • More than 95 percent of gas produced and three quarters of gas traded is distributed via pipelines directly from supplier to consumer. and typically neither group has many alternatives—reinforces regional alliances. Gas. Europe will have access to supplies in Russia and North Africa while China will be able to draw from eastern Russia. Europe’s energy needs are unlikely to grow to the same extent as those of the developing world. and potentially huge deposits in Australia. the Middle East. and many of the areas—the Caspian Sea. Traditional suppliers in the Middle East are also increasingly unstable. investing overseas is more secure than imports purchased on the international market. the need for energy will be a major factor in shaping their foreign and defense policies. including expanding naval power. Africa. however. unlike oil. and South America in order to secure more reliable access. Both oil and gas suppliers will have greater leverage than today. and gas-toliquids technology is unlikely to change these ratios substantially by 2020. Thus sharper demand-driven competition for resources. China and India. Russia.limited access of the international oil companies to major fields could restrain this investment. • • • 62 .
… Thus sharper demand-driven competition… perhaps accompanied by a major disruption of oil supplies. moreover. We expect that countries will pursue strategies designed to exclude or isolate the US—perhaps 63 . combined with depleting reserves in the North Sea. US Unipolarity—How Long Can It Last? A world with a single superpower is unique in modern times. as a result. US policies are not perceived as sufficiently threatening to warrant such a step. According to a study by the European Commission.” Most countries are likely to experiment with a variety of different tactics from various degrees of resistance to engagement in an effort to influence how US power is exercised. as gas requires a higher level of political commitment by both sides in designing and constructing the necessary infrastructure. will be well positioned to marshal its oil and gas reserves to support domestic and foreign policy objectives.” Deliveries from the Yamal-Europe pipeline and the Blue Stream pipeline will help Russia increase its gas sales to the EU and Turkey by more than 40 percent over 2000 levels in the first decade of the 21st century. militarily. “There are few policy-relevant theories to indicate how states are likely to deal with a situation in which the US continues to be the single most powerful actor economically. will give an added boost to political efforts already under way to strengthen ties with Russia and North Africa. is among the key uncertainties. Despite the rise in anti-Americanism. Gas use will increase most rapidly due to environmental concerns and the phasing out of much of the EU’s nuclear energy capacity. especially in the Middle East and the broader Muslim world. Moreover. the Union’s share of energy from foreign sources will rise from about half in 2000 to two-thirds by 2020. “…many of the areas… being counted on to provide increased [energy] output involve substantial political or economic risk. and technologically. Russia. believe the US is bent on regional domination—or direct political and economic domination of other states and their resources. Algeria has the world’s eighth largest gas reserves and also is seeking to increase its exports to Europe by 50 percent by the end of the decade. including resistance to support for US interests in multinational forums and development of asymmetric military capabilities as a hedge against the US. growing distrust could prompt governments to take a more hostile approach. as the largest energy supplier outside of OPEC. Russia’s share of total European demand will rise from 27 percent in 2000 to 31 percent in 2010.Europe’s increasing preference for natural gas. most major powers today believe countermeasures such as balancing are not likely to work in a situation in which the US controls so many of the levers of power. • Growing numbers of people around the world. In the future.
At the end of the scenario. There are new security arrangements in Asia. The scenario also suggests that Washington has to struggle to assert leadership in an increasingly diverse.temporarily—in order to force or cajole the US into playing by others’ rules. Fictional Scenario: Pax Americana The scenario portrayed below looks at how US predominance may survive radical changes to the global political landscape. and fast-paced world. we identify lessons learned from how the scenario played out. In other forms of bargaining. Under this scenario. It is depicted as the diary entry by a fictitious UN Secretary-General in 2020. foreign governments will try to find ways to “bandwagon” or connect their policy agendas to those of the US—for example on the war on terrorism—and thereby fend off US opposition to other policies. 64 . complex. but the United States still does the heavy lifting. with Washington remaining the central pivot for international politics. including on the Middle East. US-European cooperation is renewed. key alliances and relationships with Europe and Asia undergo change. Many countries increasingly believe that the surest way to gain leverage over Washington is by threatening to withhold cooperation.
New Challenges to Governance The nation-state will continue to be the dominant unit of the global order. Latin America and the Caribbean into the United States. some of which never really embraced democracy. Contradictory forces will be at work: authoritarian regimes will face new pressures to democratize. and global economic growth probably will not on its own reverse such a trend. Russia and most of the Central Asian regimes appear to be 73 . aging Central Asian rulers must contend with unruly and large youth populations lacking broad economic opportunities. Regimes that were able to manage the challenges of the 1990s could be overwhelmed by those of 2020. but backsliding by many countries that were considered part of the “third wave” of democratization is a distinct possibility. risking growing insurgencies. especially information technologies. which would be enhanced if its rulers moved towards political reform. In particular. and increasingly from Southeast Asia into the northern regions—more countries will be multi-ethnic and multi-religious and will face the challenge of integrating migrants into their societies while respecting their ethnic and religious identities. • With migration on the increase in several places around the world— from North Africa and the Middle East into Europe. Beijing also has to weigh in the balance its ambition to be a major global player. slipping back toward authoritarianism. by 2020 democratization may be partially reversed among the states of the former Soviet Union and in Southeast Asia. will place enormous strains on governments. which in turn would spur democratization. • Beset already by severe economic inequalities. The development of more diversified economies in these countries—by no means inevitable—would be crucial in fostering the growth of a middle class. but economic globalization and the dispersion of technologies. Central Asian governments are likely to suppress dissent and revert to authoritarianism to maintain order. “…backsliding by many countries that were considered part of the ‘third wave’ of democratization is a distinct possibility. China may pursue an “Asian way” of democracy that might involve elections at the local level and a consultative mechanism on the national level. but fragile new democracies may lack the adaptive capacity to survive and develop. perhaps Halting Progress on Democratization Global economic growth has the potential to spur democratization.” Chinese leaders will face a dilemma over how much to accommodate pluralistic pressure and relax political controls or risk a popular backlash if they do not.
For countries with more limited natural resources. Knowing that Europe probably would want to forge a “special relationship” with a Russia that is stronger economically. Turkmenistan. Moreover. Russian nationalism is on the increase as a result of growing ethnic unrest domestically. Putin has increasingly appealed to Russian nationalism—and. Ironically. limited economic prospects. Allowing more emigration could help alleviate these pressures in Central Asian countries. huge income inequality. the experts foresaw more unity if economic conditions worsen globally and Eurasia is isolated. and Uzbekistan— face the stiff challenge of keeping the social peace in a context of high population growth. requiring better governance. with considerable potential for religious and ethnic conflict over the next 15 years. Tajikistan. 74 . Turkmenistan. it could well experience the petro-state phenomenon of unbalanced economic development. Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. capital flight. a stagnant Russia would be looked to by the others to maintain order along the southern rim as some Central Asian countries—Turkmenistan. Central Asian states are weak. and Kyrgyzstan—faced potential collapse. Russia would need to undertake structural changes and institute the rule of law. Tajikistan. Moscow probably would be more tolerant of former Soviet states moving closer to Europe. and growing radical Islamic influence. however.Eurasian Countries: Going Their Separate Ways? The regional experts who attended our conference felt that Russia’s political development since the fall of Communism has been complicated by the continuing search for a post-Soviet national identity. Russia would benefit from migration as a means of compensating for its loss of approximately one million people a year through 2020. Eurasia is likely to become more differentiated despite the fact that demographic counterforces—such as a dearth of manpower in Russia and western Eurasia and an oversupply in Central Asia—could help pull the region together. xenophobia—to define Russian identity. Religious and ethnic movements could have a destabilizing impact across the region. To diversify its economy. occasionally. a relatively young population. In that case. Kyrgyztan. and our experts believe any efforts to expand immigration policies would be exploited by nationalist politicians. such as Ukraine. The participants assessed that among the resource-rich countries. Russia. His successors may well define Russian identity by highlighting Russia’s imperial past and its domination over its neighbors even as they reject communist ideology. Central Asian countries—Kazakhstan. If Russia fails to diversify its economy. Georgia. and Azerbaijan. and increased social problems. Krgyzstan. In the view of the experts. Russia and the Central Asians are likely to cooperate in developing transportation corridors for energy supplies. the challenge will be to develop effective project and service industries. which could in turn encourage foreign direct investment outside of the energy sector. has little experience in integrating migrants from other cultures. Kazakhstan. Russia has the best prospects for expanding its economy beyond resource extraction and becoming more integrated into the world economy. Regional experts were less confident about the potential for significant economic diversification in the other resource-rich countries in Central Asia and the South Caucasus over the next 15 years—in particular.
which thus far have been excluded from the process by repressive regimes. The lack of economic growth in the Middle East outside the energy sector is one of the primary underlying factors for the slow pace. Today individual PC users have more capacity at their fingertips than NASA had with the computers used in its first moon launches.with the Communist Party retaining control over the central government. Many regional experts are not hopeful that the generational turnover in several of the regimes will by itself spur democratic reform. Reports of growing investment by many Middle Eastern governments in developing high-speed information infrastructures. This almost certainly will affect individuals’ relationships with and views of their governments and will put pressure on some governments for more responsiveness. • Democratic progress could gain ground in key Middle Eastern countries. An extended period of high oil prices would allow regimes to put off economic and fiscal reform. and is the leading market for broadband communication. • China is experiencing among the fastest rates of increase of Internet and mobile phone users in the world. Most of the experts at our regional conference. • Younger Chinese leaders who are already exerting influence as mayors and regional officials have been trained in Western-style universities and have a good understanding of international standards of governance. Success in establishing a working democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan—and democratic consolidation in Indonesia—would set an example for other Muslim and Arab states. • The extent to which radical Islam grows and how regimes respond to its pressures will also have long-term repercussions for democratization and High-Tech Pressures on Governance. according to the International Telecommunications Union. believe present and future leaders are agnostic on the issue of democracy and are more interested in developing what they perceive to be the most effective model of governance. The trend toward even more capacity. and mobility will have enormous political implications: myriad individuals and small groups— many of whom had not been previously so empowered—will not only connect with one another but will plan. although they are not yet widely available to the population nor well-connected to the larger world. speed. affordability. mobilize. show obvious potential for the spread of democratic—and undemocratic— ideas. • the growth of civil society institutions. creating pressures for change. and accomplish tasks with potentially more satisfying and efficient results than their governments can deliver. although radicals may use the ballot box to gain power. however. • 75 . a 2001 Freedom House study showed a dramatic and expanding gap in the levels of freedom and democracy between Islamic countries and the rest of the world. However.
Indeed. 76 .Climate Change and Its Implications Through 2020 Policies regarding climate change are likely to feature significantly in multilateral relations. and the need for significant technological innovation to maximize energy efficiency. Policymakers will face a dilemma: an environmental regime based solely on economic incentives will probably not produce needed technological advances because firms will be hesitant to invest in research when there is great uncertainty about potential profits. will be linked to global warming. crafting a policy to limit carbon emissions would be simplified by the fact that three political entities—the United States. On the other hand. the European Union. and China— account for over half of all CO2 emitted into the atmosphere. An agreement that included these three plus the Russian Federation. Among reasons for optimism. The numerous obstacles to multilateral action include resistance from OPEC countries that depend on fossil fuel revenues. Japan. but uncertainty exists about causation and possible remedies. There is a strong consensus in the scientific community that the greenhouse effect is real and that average surface temperatures have risen over the last century. the developing world’s view that climate change is a problem created by the industrial world and one they cannot address given their economic constraints. and the United States. to take dramatic steps to reduce its consumption of fossil fuels. is likely to face significant bilateral pressure to change its domestic environmental policies and to be a leader in global environmental efforts. as the largest producer of greenhouse gases. There are likely to be numerous weather-related events that. will increase steadily through 2020. Any of these events could lead to widespread calls for the United States. a regime based on government regulation will tend to be costly and inflexible. and India would cover twothirds of all carbon emissions. correctly or not. of which China and India are large producers. participants noted that the world is ready and eager for US leadership and that new multilateral institutions are not needed to address this issue. in particular. Experts in a NIC-sponsored conference judged that concerns about greenhouse gases.
Growing connectivity also will be accompanied by the proliferation of transnational virtual communities of interest. such as Laos. The potential is considerable for such groups to drive national and even global political decisionmaking on a wide range of issues normally the purview of governments. Groups based on common religious. The Latin American countries that are adapting to challenges most effectively are building sturdier and more capable democratic institutions to implement more inclusive and responsive policies and enhance citizen and investor confidence. which may emerge even more as a robust force in international affairs. as with religion. especially as globalization risks aggravating social divisions along economic and ethnic lines. Many. a trend which may complicate the ability of state and global institutions to generate internal consensus and enforce decisions and could even challenge their authority and legitimacy. Rising nationalism and a trend toward populism also will present a challenge to governments in Asia. Few experts fear a general backsliding to the rule of military juntas in Latin America. populism will not necessarily be inimical to political development and can serve to broaden participation in the political process. A sense of economic progress and hope for its continuance appears essential to the long-term credibility of democratic systems. Cambodia. 77 . to consider more drastic means for seeking what they consider their “fair share” of political power and wealth. which so far have sought change through democratic means.• Some states will seek to control the Internet and its contents. ethnic or other affiliations may be torn between their national loyalties and other identities. and Burma. technology-enabled diaspora communications in native languages could lead to the preservation of language and culture in the face of widespread emigration and cultural change as well as the generation of political and economic power. the failure of elites to adapt to the evolving demands of free markets and democracy probably will fuel a revival in populism and drive indigenous movements. Populist themes are likely to emerge as a potent political and social force. For example. The Internet in particular will spur the creation of global movements. are unable to deliver on expanding popular demands and risk becoming state failures. cultural. In parts of Latin America particularly. but they will face increasing challenges as new networks offer multiple means of communicating. • However.
neo-liberal economic model whose inequitably distributed fruits are rooted in the exploitation of labor and the environment. The universalization of the Internet. in part. viewing it as an homogenizing force that undermines their unique cultures and as a US-imposed. along with Andean countries. Many reject globalization as it has played out in the region. a new social contract. The experts made the following observations on regional prospects in other areas: • Identity politics. particularly Brazil and Chile. the represented and the excluded. historically common in the region. For Latin Americans.Latin America in 2020: Will Globalization Cause the Region to Split? The experts we consulted in Latin America contended that global changes over the next 15 years could deepen divisions and serve to split Latin America apart in economic. could lag behind and remain dependent on the US and Canada as their preferred trade partners and aid providers. Increasing portions of the population are identifying themselves as indigenous peoples and will demand not only a voice but. mobilize. self-styled populist leaders. potentially. investment. Over the next 15 years. As the Southern Cone. and even the state. has grown. In the most profoundly weak of these governments. both as a mass media and means of inter-personal communication. • 78 . Central America and Mexico. Information technology. connect. will help educate. particularly where the criminalization of the society. the effects of continued economic growth and global integration are likely to be uneven and fragmentary. the gap between rich and the poor. and empower those traditionally excluded. is most apparent. prevented many countries from realizing the full measure of economic and social benefits from greater integration into the global economy in the past decade. who would play on popular concerns over inequities between “haves” and “have-nots” in the weakest states in Central America and Andean countries. regional experts foresee an increasing risk of the rise of charismatic. Indeed. reach out to new partners in Asia and Europe. and trade policy terms. along with parts of Mexico. government ineffectiveness. the leaders could have an autocratic bent and be more stridently anti-American. Instead.
and other religions and practices are spreading in such countries as China as Marxism declines. etc.” While we do not have comprehensive data on the number of people who have joined a religious faith or converted from one faith to another in recent years. and a religious belief system that connects local conflicts to a larger struggle. Christianity.—are now performed by the state. 79 . or Muslim radicals—are becoming “activists. By 2020. giving them more of an African or Asian or. a developing world face. Western Europe stands apart from this growing global “religiosity” except for the migrant communities from Africa and the Middle East. and the diffusion of modern communications technologies. growing diversity of hostile groups within states. more broadly. A more pervasive. Buddhism. a tendency toward making sharp Manichaean distinctions between good and evil. China and Nigeria will have some of the largest Christian communities in the world. Such communities also provide networks that can lead to job opportunities. Many religious adherents—whether Hindu nationalists. might not foster the cultural acceptance of new Muslim immigrants who view as discriminatory the ban in some West European countries against displays of religious adherence. Many of the churches’ traditional functions— education. religious identity is likely to become an increasingly important factor in how people define themselves. • • “Over the next 15 years. • For example.• Experts note that a new generation of leaders is emerging in Africa from the private sector. social services. religious identity is likely to become an increasingly important factor in how people define themselves.” They have a worldview that advocates change of society. Christian evangelicals in Latin America. a shift that will reshape the traditionally Westernbased Christian institutions. Jewish fundamentalists in Israel. Over the next 15 years. however. • The primacy of ethnic and religious identities will provide followers with a ready-made community that serves as a “social safety net” in times of need— particularly important to migrants. and the proportion of evangelical converts in traditionally heavily Catholic Latin America is rising. insistent secularism. Identity Politics Part of the pressure on governance will come from new forms of identity politics centered on religious convictions and ethnic affiliation. The trend toward identity politics is linked to increased mobility. trends seem to point toward growing numbers of converts and a deepening religious commitment by many religious adherents. these leaders are much more comfortable with democracy than their predecessors and might provide a strong internal dynamic for democracy in the future.
which experts have correlated with high numbers of radical adherents. activists define their identities in opposition to “outsiders.. some of it violent. In keeping with the intense religious convictions of many of these movements. “with a social network that would otherwise be lacking… providing members with skills they need to survive in a rapidly developing society. including women. • In the Middle East. rallying disparate ethnic and national groups and perhaps even creating an authority that transcends national boundaries. radical Islam’s increasing hold reflects the political and economic alienation of many young Muslims from their unresponsive and unrepresentative governments and related failure of many predominantly Muslim states to reap significant economic gains from globalization.Such religious-based movements have been common in times of social and political turmoil in the past and have oftentimes been a force for positive change. 10 Philip Jenkins. The spread of radical Islam will have a significant global impact leading to 2020. For example. August 4. The collective feelings of alienation and estrangement which radical Islam draws upon are unlikely to dissipate until the Muslim world again appears to be more fully integrated into the world economy.. the desire by activist groups to change society often leads to more social and political turmoil. and the effects will linger long after.(and helping) to promote the development of civil society in the region. consultations with the National Intelligence Council. 11 We define Muslim extremists as a subset of Islamic activists. 2004. there are likely to be frictions in mixed communities as the activists attempt to gain converts among other religious groups or older established religious institutions.11 • Youth bulges are expected to be especially acute in most Middle Eastern and West African countries until at least 2005-2010. Most of the regions that will experience gains in religious “activists” also have youth bulges. Radical Islam.” Radical Islam will continue to appeal to many Muslim migrants who are attracted to the more prosperous West for employment opportunities but do not feel at home in what they perceive as an alien culture. They are committed to restructuring political society in accordance with their vision of Islamic law and are willing to use violence. “Radical Islam will have a significant global impact… rallying disparate ethnic and national groups and perhaps even creating an authority that transcends national boundaries.”10 At the same time. 81 . scholars see the growth of evangelism in Latin America as providing the uprooted. In particular. racially disadvantaged and often poorest groups. Part of the appeal of radical Islam involves its call for a return by Muslims to earlier roots when Islamic civilization was at the forefront of global change.” which can foster strife. including Muslim extremists.
82 . will be a cause of regional strife. but many second. and Indonesia. if unchecked. also could lead to conflict in this era of increased religious identity.and third-generation immigrants are drawn to radical Islam as they encounter obstacles to full integration and barriers to what they consider to be normal religious practices. Regions where frictions risk developing into wider civil conflict include Southeast Asia. where the historic Christian-Muslim faultlines cut across several countries. including West Africa. however historic and longlasting. • Schisms within religions. and. The Philippines. A Shia-dominated Iraq is likely to encourage greater activism by Shia minorities in other Middle Eastern nations.Studies show that Muslim immigrants are being integrated as West European countries become more inclusive. such as Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Differences over religion and ethnicity also will contribute to future conflict.
a new Caliphate is proclaimed and manages to advance a powerful counter ideology that has widespread appeal. It is depicted in the form of a hypothetical letter from a fictional grandson of Bin Ladin to a family relative in 2020. we identify lessons to be drawn. Europe. . places far outside the Muslim core in the Middle East—in Africa and Asia—are convulsed as a result of his appeals. He recounts the struggles of the Caliph in trying to wrest control from traditional regimes and the conflict and confusion which 83 ensue both within the Muslim world and outside between Muslims and the United States. Under this scenario. Russia and China.Fictional Scenario: A New Caliphate The fictional scenario portrayed below provides an example of how a global movement fueled by radical religious identity could emerge. While the Caliph’s success in mobilizing support varies. The scenario ends before the Caliph is able to establish both spiritual and temporal authority over a territory— which historically has been the case for previous Caliphates. At the end of the scenario.
We foresee a more pervasive sense of insecurity, which may be as much based on psychological perceptions as physical threats, by 2020. The psychological aspects, which we have addressed earlier in this paper, include concerns over job security as well as fears revolving around migration among both host populations and migrants. Terrorism and internal conflicts could interrupt the process of globalization by significantly increasing the security costs associated with international commerce, encouraging restrictive border control policies, and adversely affecting trade patterns and financial markets. Although far less likely than internal conflicts, conflict among great powers would create risks to world security. The potential for the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) will add to the pervasive sense of insecurity. Transmuting International Terrorism The key factors that spawned international terrorism show no signs of abating over the next 15 years. Experts assess that the majority of international terrorist groups will continue to identify with radical Islam. The revival of Muslim identity will create a framework for the spread of radical Islamic ideology both inside and outside the Middle East, including Western Europe, Southeast Asia and Central Asia. • This revival has been accompanied by a deepening solidarity among 93 Muslims caught up in national or regional separatist struggles, such as Palestine, Chechnya, Iraq, Kashmir, Mindanao, or southern Thailand and has emerged in response to government repression, corruption, and ineffectiveness. • A radical takeover in a Muslim country in the Middle East could spur the spread of terrorism in the region and give confidence to others that a new Caliphate is not just a dream. Informal networks of charitable foundations, madrasas, hawalas,12 and other mechanisms will continue to proliferate and be exploited by radical elements. Alienation among unemployed youths will swell the ranks of those vulnerable to terrorist recruitment.
“Our greatest concern is that [terrorist groups] might acquire biological agents, or less likely, a nuclear device, either of which could cause mass casualties.”
There are indications that the Islamic radicals’ professed desire to create a transnational insurgency, that is, a drive by Muslim extremists to overthrow a number of allegedly apostate secular
Hawalas constitute an informal banking system.
governments with predominately Muslim subjects, will have an appeal to many Muslims. • Anti-globalization and opposition to US policies could cement a greater body of terrorist sympathizers, financiers, and collaborators.
inspired but more diffuse Islamic extremist groups, all of which will oppose the spread of many aspects of globalization into traditional Islamic societies. • Iraq and other possible conflicts in the future could provide recruitment, training grounds, technical skills and language proficiency for a new class of terrorists who are “professionalized” and for whom political violence becomes an end in itself. Foreign jihadists—individuals ready to fight anywhere they believe Muslim lands are under attack by what they see as “infidel invaders”— enjoy a growing sense of support from Muslims who are not necessarily supporters of terrorism.
“…We expect that by 2020 al-Qa’ida will have been superceded by similarly inspired but more diffuse Islamic extremist groups.”
A Dispersed Set of Actors. Pressure from the global counterterrorism effort, together with the impact of advances in information technology, will cause the terrorist threat to become increasingly decentralized, evolving into an eclectic array of groups, cells, and individuals. While taking advantage of sanctuaries around the world to train, terrorists will not need a stationary headquarters to plan and carry out operations. Training materials, targeting guidance, weapons know-how, and fund-raising will increasingly become virtual (i.e., online). The core al-Qa’ida membership probably will continue to dwindle, but other groups inspired by al-Qa’ida, regionally based groups, and individuals labeled simply as jihadists—united by a common hatred of moderate regimes and the West—are likely to conduct terrorist attacks. The al-Qa’ida membership that was distinguished by having trained in Afghanistan will gradually dissipate, to be replaced in part by the dispersion of the experienced survivors of the conflict in Iraq. We expect that by 2020 al-Qa’ida will have been superceded by similarly 94
Even if the number of extremists dwindles, however, the terrorist threat is likely to remain. Through the Internet and other wireless communications technologies, individuals with ill intent will be able to rally adherents quickly on a broader, even global, scale and do so obscurely. The rapid dispersion of bioand other lethal forms of technology increases the potential for an individual not affiliated with any terrorist group to be able to inflict widespread loss of life. Weapons, Tactics, and Targets. In the past, terrorist organizations relied on state sponsors for training, weapons, logistical support, travel documents, and money in support of their operations. In a globalized world, groups such as Hizballah are increasingly self-sufficient in meeting these needs and may act in a state-like manner to preserve “plausible deniability” by supplying other groups, working through third parties to meet
• While vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices will remain popular as asymmetric weapons. and even engaging governments diplomatically. Because the recognition of anthrax. either of which could cause mass casualties. Given the possibility that terrorists could acquire nuclear weapons. or support arrangements for attacks.e. The most worrisome trend has been an intensified search by some terrorist groups to obtain weapons of mass destruction. better-informed groups. but more terrorist attacks might . the scope. Concurrently. possibly in widely separated locations. incorporating new twists to keep counterterrorist planners off balance.their objectives. Our greatest concern is that these groups might acquire biological agents or less likely. the use of such weapons by extremists before 2020 cannot be ruled out. terrorists are likely to move up the technology ladder to employ advanced explosives and unmanned aerial vehicles. design. and the weapon built there could be smaller than a toaster. the bioterrorist’s laboratory could well be the size of a household kitchen. Historically. religiously inspired terrorism has been most destructive because such groups are bound by few constraints. • One such concept that is likely to continue is a large number of simultaneous attacks. smallpox or other diseases is typically delayed.” The religious zeal of extremist Muslim terrorists increases their desire to perpetrate attacks resulting in high casualties. Most terrorist attacks will continue to employ primarily conventional weapons.. particularly in Russia or Pakistan. a nuclear device. Terrorist use of biological agents is therefore likely. “Terrorist use of biological agents is therefore likely. and the range of options will grow. Terrorists probably will be most original not in the technologies or weapons they employ but rather in their operational concepts—i. 95 With advances in the design of simplified nuclear weapons. The United States and its interests abroad will remain prime terrorist targets. they can be expected to continue attempting to purchase or steal a weapon. terrorists will continue to seek to acquire fissile material in order to construct a nuclear weapon. under a “nightmare scenario” an attack could be well under way before authorities would be cognizant of it. • Bioterrorism appears particularly suited to the smaller. The use of radiological dispersal devices can be effective in creating panic because of the public’s misconception of the capacity of such attacks to kill large numbers of people. We expect that terrorists also will try to acquire and develop the capabilities to conduct cyber attacks to cause physical damage to computer systems and to disrupt critical information networks. Indeed. and the range of options will grow.
economically fragile. Russia. if it sees the end of its one-party system. are unlikely to form long-term strategic alliances with terrorists. For their part. particularly drug trafficking syndicates. particularly if their ideology calls for substantial government involvement in the economy. China. 96 . • Some organized crime syndicates will form loose alliances with one another. We expect that the relationship between terrorists and organized criminals will remain primarily a matter of business. the risk of organized crime trafficking in nuclear. may take virtual control of regions within failing states to which the central government cannot extend its writ. Organized crime is motivated by the desire to make money and tends to regard any activity beyond that required to effect profit as bad for business. Ethnic-based organized crime groups typically prey on members of their own diasporas and use them to gain footholds in new regions. insinuate themselves into troubled banks and businesses. i. Nigeria. Some of the former states of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact also will remain vulnerable to high levels of organized crime. and unable or unwilling to consistently enforce the rule of law.e. Organized crime is likely to thrive in resource-rich states undergoing significant political and economic transformation. or failing states. and Brazil as well as Cuba. or chemical weapons will increase between now and 2020. and cooperate with insurgent movements to control substantial geographic areas.. • States that transition to one-party systems—such as any new Islamic-run state—will be vulnerable to corruption and attendant organized crime. Organized criminal groups. that terrorists will turn to criminals who can provide forged documents.Organized Crime Changing geostrategic patterns will shape global organized criminal activity over the next 15 years. vulnerable to corruption. however. biological. Changing patterns of migration may introduce some types of organized crime into countries that have not previously experienced it. • Criminal syndicates. such as India. Organized crime groups usually do not want to see governments toppled but thrive in countries where governments are weak. terrorist leaders are concerned that ties to non-ideological partners will increase the chance of successful police penetration or that profits will seduce the faithful. smuggled weapons. exploit information technologies. If governments in countries with WMD capabilities lose control of their inventories. or clandestine travel assistance when the terrorists cannot procure these goods and services on their own. They will attempt to corrupt leaders of unstable.
including the Internet. including terrorists.” Internal conflicts are often particularly vicious. and computer systems that control critical industrial processes such as electricity grids. and youth bulges will align to create a ‘perfect storm’ [for] internal conflict. Many of these conflicts generate internal displacements and external refugee flows. Genocidal conflicts aimed at annihilating all or part of a racial. intense religious convictions. the Caucasus and South and Central Asia and through parts of Southeast Asia. New technologies on the horizon provide capabilities for accessing data. and flood control mechanisms. For the most part. religious. Those states unable both to satisfy the expectations of their peoples and to resolve or quell conflicting demands among them are likely to 97 .Cyber Warfare? Over the next 15 years. will determine whether and to what extent conflicts actually occur. into the Middle East. encounter the most severe and most frequent outbreaks of violence. • The number of internal conflicts is down significantly since the late 1980s and early 1990s. • Sub-Saharan Africa will continue to be particularly at risk for major new or worsening humanitarian emergencies stemming from conflict. The ability to respond to such attacks will require critical technology to close the gap between attacker and defender. Intensifying Internal Conflicts Lagging economies. Terrorists already have specified the US information infrastructure as a target and currently are capable of physical attacks that would cause at least brief. however. or ethnic group. the Balkans. and conflicts caused by other crimes against humanity—such as be aimed at Middle Eastern regimes and at Western Europe. and youth bulges will align to create a “perfect storm. Although a leveling off point has been reached. isolated disruptions. those states most susceptible to violence are in a great arc of instability from Sub-Saharan Africa. when the breakup of the Soviet Union and Communist regimes in Central Europe allowed suppressed ethnic and nationalist strife to flare. through North Africa. a growing range of actors. or through direct access by insiders. “Lagging economies. Countries in these regions are generally those “behind” the globalization curve. the continued prevalence of troubled and institutionally weak states creates conditions for such conflicts to occur in the future. destabilizing neighboring countries. ethnic affiliations. may acquire and develop capabilities to conduct both physical and cyber attacks against nodes of the world’s information infrastructure. A key cyber battlefield of the future will be the information on computer systems themselves. either through wireless intercept. which is far more valuable and vulnerable than physical systems. intense religious convictions. and difficult to terminate. refineries. telecommunications networks. intrusion into Internet-connected systems. The governing capacity of states.” creating conditions likely to spawn internal conflict. long-lasting. ethnic affiliations.
risk escalating into regional conflicts. China. just as China’s military buildup enabling it to bring overwhelming force against Taiwan increases the risk of military conflict. Under plausible scenarios Pakistan might use nuclear weapons to counter success by the larger Indian conventional forces. the growing dependence on global financial and trade networks increasingly will act as a deterrent to conflict among the great powers—the US. But nationalistic feelings run high and are not likely to abate. In such instances. Additionally. particularly given Pakistan’s lack of strategic depth. Europe. intractable humanitarian needs. even if conflict would break out over Taiwan or between India and Pakistan. particularly those that involve ethnic groups straddling national boundaries. India and Pakistan appear to understand the likely prices to be paid by triggering a conflict. • “Advances in modern weaponry—longer ranges. with expanses of territory and populations devoid of effective governmental control. as well as the two-bloc standoff during the Cold War. “Africa in 2020 … will increasingly resemble a patchwork quilt with significant differences in economic and political performance. At their most extreme. Rising Powers: Tinder for Conflict? The likelihood of great power conflict escalating into total war in the next 15 years is lower than at any time in the past century. however. Japan and Russia. outside powers as well as the primary actors would want to limit its extent. India. large-scale expulsions of populations—are particularly likely to generate migration and massive. the consequences would be significant. and the raw emotions on both sides of key issues increase the chances for miscalculation. precision delivery.forced. virtually assured that small conflicts would be quickly generalized.” Should conflict occur that involved one or more of the great powers. Advances in modern weaponry—longer . unlike during previous centuries when local conflicts sparked world wars. The absence of effective conflict resolution mechanisms in some regions. Now. we cannot discount such a possibility. 98 This does not eliminate the possibility of great power conflict. those territories can become sanctuaries for transnational terrorists (like al-Qa’ida in Afghanistan) or for criminals and drug cartels (such as in Colombia). • Although a military confrontation between China and Taiwan would derail Beijing’s efforts to gain acceptance as a regional and global power. however. Events such as Taiwan’s proclamation of independence could lead Beijing to take steps it otherwise might want to avoid. the rise of nationalism in some states. and more destructive conventional munitions—create circumstances encouraging the preemptive use of military force. internal conflicts can produce a failing or failed state.” Some internal conflicts. The rigidities of alliance systems before World War I and during the interwar period.
Sub-Saharan Africa is well endowed with them and has the potential not only to be self-sufficient in food. improve governance. and fish products. Leadership will remain the ultimate wild card. combined with the demand for raw materials from the burgeoning Chinese and Indian economies. with the prospect of prosperity decreasing the level of conflict. who are more comfortable with democracy than their predecessors and who could provide a strong political dynamic for democracy in the future. but it is highly unlikely that democracy will be challenged as the norm in Africa. criminal networks that operate freely across borders. with its peer review mechanism.How Can Sub-Saharan Africa Move Forward? Most of the regional experts we consulted believe the most likely scenario for Africa in 2020 is that it will increasingly resemble a patchwork quilt with significant differences in economic and political performance. democratic reform will remain slow and imperfect in many countries due to a host of social and economic problems. animal. which currently is mostly confined to the oil sector. rein in corruption. Over the next 15 years. African experts have agreed that economic reform and good governance are essential for high economic growth and also have concluded that African countries must take the initiative in negotiating new aid and trade relationships that heretofore were essentially dictated by the international financial institutions and the developed world. If progress is achieved in these areas. provides one mechanism for bringing about this economic transformation. is possible. Although countries with poor leadership will find it harder not to fail. Although mineral and natural resources are not evenly distributed among its countries. could provide major stimulus to African economies and overcome decades of depressed commodity prices. Africa’s capacity to benefit from the positive elements of globalization will depend on the extent to which individual countries can bring an end to conflict. and establish the rule of law. An emerging generation of leaders includes many from the private sector. Our regional experts felt that if African leaders used such investment to help their economies grow—opening avenues to wealth other than through the power of the state— they might be able to mitigate the myriad other problems facing their countries. and conflict resolution will at least have a chance of progressing. but to become a major exporter of agricultural. Expanded development of existing or new sources of wealth will remain key. and Islamic groups bent on establishing safehavens. African leaders face alliances of international and domestic nongovernmental organizations that sometimes want to supplant certain state services. Some states may fail but in others the overall quality of democracy probably will increase. could make a huge. which. 99 . if its members individually and collectively honor their commitments. those with good leadership that promotes order. The lowering or elimination of tariff barriers and agricultural subsidies in the European Union and the United States. The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). institutions. positive difference. even in the least promising circumstances. an expansion of foreign investment.
• The assistance of proliferators. Current nuclear weapons states will continue to improve the survivability of their deterrent forces and almost certainly will improve the reliability.” Chemical and Biological Weapons. including former private entrepreneurs such as the A. will reduce the time required for additional countries to develop nuclear weapons. cause a possible shift in the balance of power. and lethality of their delivery systems as well as develop capabilities to penetrate missile defenses. “Countries without nuclear weapons … may decide to seek them as it becomes clear that their neighbors and regional rivals are already doing so. • Countries without nuclear weapons. military experts believe preemption is likely to appear necessary for strategic success. as we have noted. further concealing them from scrutiny. there will be great premiums associated with the ability to expand conflicts geographically in order to deny an attacker sanctuary. Under these circumstances. particularly from terrorists. precision delivery. Developments in CW and BW agents and the proliferation of related expertise will pose a substantial threat. • Major advances in the biological sciences and information technology probably will accelerate the pace of BW agent development. Countries will continue to integrate both CW and BW production capabilities into apparently legitimate commercial infrastructures. Moreover. and increase the risk of conflicts escalating into nuclear ones. a number of recent hightechnology conflicts have demonstrated that the outcomes of early battles of major conflicts most often determine the success of entire campaigns. especially in the Middle East and Northeast Asia. Khan network. a number of countries will continue to pursue their nuclear. Through 2020 some countries will continue to try to develop chemical agents designed to circumvent the . and more destructive conventional munitions— create circumstances encouraging the preemptive use of military force. Until strategic defenses become as strong as strategic offenses. and biological weapons programs and in some cases will enhance their capabilities. accuracy. may decide to seek them as it becomes clear that their 100 neighbors and regional rivals already are doing so. and BW/CW programs will be less reliant on foreign suppliers.ranges. increasing the potential for agents that are more difficult to detect or to defend against.Q. Over the next 15 years. • Given the goal of some terrorist groups to use weapons that can be employed surreptitiously and generate dramatic impact. The WMD Factor Nuclear Weapons. we expect to see terrorist use of some readily available biological and chemical weapons. chemical. The open demonstration of nuclear capabilities by any state would further discredit the current nonproliferation regime. The increased range of new missile and aircraft delivery systems provides sanctuary to their possessors.
Both North Korea and Iran probably will have an ICBM capability well before 2020 and will be working on improvements to enhance such capabilities. Several other countries are likely to develop space launch vehicles (SLVs) by 2020 to put domestic satellites in orbit and to enhance national prestige. reliability. Security will remain at risk from increasingly advanced and lethal ballistic and cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). An SLV is a key stepping-stone toward an ICBM: it could be used as a booster in an ICBM development. “Developments in CW and BW agents and the proliferation of related expertise will pose a substantial threat.” Delivery Systems... although new regimes in either country could rethink these objectives. States almost certainly will continue to increase the range.Chemical Weapons Convention verification regime. 101 . particularly from terrorists. and accuracy of the missile systems in their inventories. By 2020 several countries of concern probably will have acquired Land-Attack Cruise Missiles (LACMs) capable of threatening the US Homeland if brought closer to US shores.
organized crime. As technology increases the capabilities of states to track terrorists. and access to biomedicines could become the source of hot debates among countries and regions.International Institutions in Crisis Increased pressures on international institutions will incapacitate many. continue to worry about setting precedents for outside intervention that can be used against them. and weaknesses of global and regional institutions to deal with what are likely to be the more common types of conflict in the future. unless more global cooperation is achieved. Bosnia. lack of preparation. especially the emerging powers. 102 . as well as developed countries against the developing world. unless and until they can be radically adapted to accommodate new actors and new priorities. Many states. Nevertheless. and WMD proliferation. can only be effectively dealt with through early recognition and preventive measures. pitting the US against its traditional European allies. concerns about privacy and extraterritoriality may increasingly surface among publics worldwide. Institutional reform might increasingly surface as an issue. and Somalia demonstrated the ineffectiveness. debates over environmental issues connected with tempering climate change risk scrambling the international order. such as failing states. including the international financial ones and regional security bodies. Regionally based institutions will be particularly challenged to meet the complex transnational threats posed by economic upheavals. The problem of state failure—which is a source or incubator for a number of transnational threats—argues for better coordination between institutions. Similarly. Building a global consensus on how and when to intervene is likely to be the biggest hurdle to greater effectiveness but essential in many experts’ eyes if multilateral institutions are to live up to their potential and promise. terrorism. Such post-World War II creations as the United Nations and international financial institutions risk sliding into obsolescence unless they take into consideration the growing power of the rising powers. • Both supporters and opponents of multilateralism agree that Rwanda. GMOs. most problems. Ethical issues linked to biotechnological discoveries such as cloning. These “new” issues could become the staples of international diplomacy much as human rights did in the 1970s and 1980s. Rising powers may see in the ethical and environmental debates an attempt by the rich countries to slow down their progress by imposing “Western” standards or values. Other issues that are likely to emerge on the international agenda will add to the pressures on the collective international order as well as on individual countries. Many in the developing world believe power in international bodies is too much a snapshot of the post-World War II world rather than the current one.
This principle. continues to be vigorously contested by countries worried about harm to the principle of national sovereignty. Containing and limiting the scale and savagery of conflicts will be aggravated by the absence of clear rules. In the late 1990s. and use of. providing support to those in the “just war” tradition who have argued since the founding of the UN and before that the international community has a “duty to intervene” in order to prevent human rights atrocities. A debate over the degree to which religious leaders and others who are perceived as abetting or inciting violence should be considered international terrorists is also likely to come to the fore. Both the international law enshrining territorial sovereignty and the Geneva Conventions governing the conduct of war were developed before transnational security threats like those of the twenty-first century were envisioned. The legal status and rights of prisoners taken during military operations and suspected of involvement in terrorism will be a subject of controversy—as with many captured during Operation ENDURING FREEDOM in Afghanistan.The Rules of War: Entering “No Man’s Land” With most armed conflict taking unconventional or irregular forms—such as humanitarian interventions and operations designed to root out terrorist home bases— rather than conventional state-to-state warfare. 103 . if any. however. the outcry over former Serbian President Milosevic’s treatment of Kosovars spurred greater acceptance of the principle of international humanitarian interventions. The role of the United States in trying to set norms is itself an issue and probably will complicate efforts by the global community to come to an agreement on a new set of rules. The Iraq war has raised questions about what kind of status. man POW detention centers. military force will increasingly be called into question. to accord to the increasing number of contractors used by the US military to provide security. Protection for nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in conflict situations is another issue that has become more complicated as some charitable work—such as Wahabi missionaries funding terrorist causes—has received criticism and enforcement action at the same time that Western and other NGOs have become “soft targets” in conflict situations. the principles covering resort to. and interrogate POWs or detainees.
” Fictional Scenario: Cycle of Fear This scenario explores what might happen if proliferation concerns increased to the point that largescale intrusive security measures were taken.“Such post-World War II creations as the UN and international financial institutions risk sliding into obsolescence unless they take into consideration the growing power of the developing world. more countries might want to arm themselves for their own protection. Neither knows for sure who is at the end of his chain—a government client or terrorist front. but at the same time. In all of this. with the spread of WMD. proliferators—such as illegal arms merchants—might find it increasingly hard to operate. The enormous costs in resources and time for meaningful nationbuilding or post-conflict/failed state stability operations are likely to be a serious constraint on such coalition or international commitments. and religious identities. This scenario is depicted in a series of text-message exchanges between two arms dealers. but more so with the growing importance of cultural. • • 104 . Africa’s effort to build a regional peacekeeping force shows some promise. However. Post-Combat Environments Pose the Biggest Challenge For the United States particularly. who appear to be engaged in lucrative deals. if the past decades are any guide waging and winning a conventional war is unlikely to be much of a challenge over the next 15 years in light of our overarching capabilities to conduct such a war. while the other is strictly for hire. the international community’s efforts to prevent outbreaks and ensure that conflicts are not a prelude to new ones could remain elusive. The draconian measures increasingly implemented by governments to stem proliferation and guard against terrorism also have the arms dealers beginning to run scared. One is ideologically committed to leveling the playing field and ensuring the Muslim world has its share of WMD. fear begets fear. the cycle of fear originating with WMD-laden terrorist attacks has gotten out of hand—to the benefit of the arms dealers. However. In such a world. As the scenario progresses. • Nation-building is at best an imperfect concept. globalization may be the real victim. but Sub-Saharan Africa will struggle with attracting sufficient resources and political will. ethnic.
You're kidding. I heard. Those terrorists are ruining our business. Regular hoof and mouth. That series of attacks spooked everybody. the better. he intimates that terrorists are also interested in doing business with him. Doesn't matter too much who pays just so long as they do. I want my people and faith to be respected. The more talk of military action. but now it's impossible to operate there. And I have other buyers who are interested. People also leery of attacks. I say.Two arms dealers engage in unspecified illegal activity. . Too many eyes on me. It's going to be difficult. The material he is interested in could be nuclear technology. He can't wait now for things to happen. Moving it. America's got a lot of support 'cause of the terrorists. they think it is. Yeah. . Don't be so sure. Their military threats got my client's attention. However. and are finding conducting business increasingly difficult. How? In procuring it? No. I worry about the chip. Hard to tell the difference at first. worry even in Muslim world. Still I worry. not just the Americans. Lots of people sympathize. are u there? Marco contacted me already. Dealer B (gold phone) warns that the tide of international public opinion may be turning in favor of stronger counter-proliferation because of the terrorist attacks. but I think my ultimate client's different. U're in one of the poorest countries You'r telling me. . went overboard. Let's say more shady types. That new Patriot Act went way beyond anything imagined after 9/11. . Dubai was so civilized. Dealer A (green phone) seems to think he is working for a country. The bomb's important. . Both dealers indicate they are increasingly worried about new devices that can track them. Yeah they really got the superpower on the run. I'm in it for the money. Even when it isn't WMD. And to get back at the Crusaders? That too. How do you know you didn't help the terrorists? Can't know for certain. But the yanks are doing us a favor. especially bw. Yeah I know you're committed. . A big hit happened before hoof and mouth. America also had its share of the real thing.
or they run them. The dealer's quip about there being no relation is an obvious inside joke. But maybe not as many as they think. Too much has happened. but I don't beleive what those guys claim about protecting privacy. The first dealer also reverts to his theme that the downturn in the world economy has been a boon to the illegal business. Against big brother. Dealer A (in green) looks on the bright side. if you know what I mean. which may or may not be his real name.about the terrorists and their capabilities. which are shown in new colors. You can't trust the Americans. Dealers have also changed devices.Got one imbedded in you? D-. the in-between mentioned in last month's conversation. Dealer A (in green ) goes back to explaining why the increased terrorist attacks have also increased government interest in WMD programs. ha. Yeah. martial law. has changed aliases and is now known as Sa'id. special measures.well better not. of course. What happened to globalization? Ha. . What do you mean? My client's scared s------. Lots of countries want an insurance policy. Sa'id contacted you? Yeah. he thinks he can get legitimate businesses to look the other way. You're right. . but that's not bad for business Which business? I've got several to tend to. Marco. A month later. Legitimate businesses are now turning a blind eye and selling dual-use technology even when they have doubts about the end user. With the world slipping into a recession because of the terrorist attacks and the severe clampdown. Dealer A (in black) again talks to Dealer B (in blue). and they have friends in the world to help them. Those operations last year wrapped up a big chain. Conversation breaks off at this point. Lots of legits going belly up. Big brother and some of the smaller fry. Talk of preemption. . Yeah some have turned into ministates. No relation to marco. .
Are u there? Where are u? It is not clear if text messaging has failed to go through. This would indicate that authorities inside some countries remain helpful despite the clampdown or outward cooperation with the United States. But he was cool. A little hangup with the certification. Witting or unwitting? I'd say witting. and terrorist read of WMD greater sense of increasing sp to break. Can't keep up-marco. Got the stuff through? Dealer A (in black) is no doubt being intentionally cryptic about the material for fear of interception. What do you mean? Makes the corporate world an easy target. He said Feds did not suspect. Some mbating the io ld and the plication in co the dealers in the scenar between the Muslim wor A com one of ing field exemplified byoney but to level the play em in it for th ructed by was not obst West. as e ideological deterrence. One would hope Dealer A is now getting nervous. w ies to ac once under more countr ight prompt insecurity m factor.This recession's helping. sa'id. Have to be extremely careful these days. Corporate type told me he was questioned. D would be th dealers would not be spread of WM story. Just don't have an ear for it. They get confused by our names. Got some help in other country. It may have something to do with nuclear technology or possibly other illicit goods. "Lessons Lea rned" · · · attacks. The or erated by an fear cycle gen ould be one of the hardest quire WMD for protection The way. d sustaining ld be a chal eveloping an ou D go it alone w drive some to · . One month later Yeah but they traced it back from the subsidiary. operation wh co international lenge. muhammed. but with plausible deniability. albe Achieving a ba rity would be import in a highly lu ive secu sts to engage excess scienti sinesses and legitimate bu cle might en the fear cy activity. r al commerce omic meltdown could spu ation so that intern ant since any econ it illegal lance crative. Why the feds? It wasn't transiting America. Dealer B has gone underground or been swept up by a security roundup.
we see several ways in which major global changes could begin to take shape and be buffeted or bolstered by the forces of change over the next 15 years. the scenarios provide us with four different lenses on future developments. the resiliency or weakness of states. will be better positioned than most countries to adapt to the changing global environment. the rapid changes might also produce disorder at times. However. the prospects for global prosperity and the limited likelihood of great power conflict provide an overall favorable environment for coping with the challenges ahead. which exemplify largely positive forces by spreading technology. in particular. Despite daunting challenges. for example. robust economic growth probably will help to overcome divisions and pull more regions and countries into a new global order. Counterterrorism efforts in the years ahead—against a more diverse set of terrorists who are connected more by ideology and technology than by geography—will be a more elusive challenge than focusing on a relatively centralized organization such as al-Qa’ida. The looser the connections . and uncertainties shaping a new global order. In a sense. the nature and extent of terrorism. promoting social and economic progress.Policy Implications The international order will be in greater flux in the period out to 2020 than at any point since the end of the Second World War. to NGOs and global firms. are one of the few developments that could threaten globalization. The most important tipping points include the impact of robust economic growth and the spread of technology. as the hypothetical Davos World scenario 111 shows. The evolving framework of international politics in all the scenarios suggests that nonstate actors will continue to assume a more prominent role even though they will not displace the nation-state. As we have noted in the Cycle of Fear scenario. discontinuities. and Africa. underlining the wide range of factors. The United States and other countries throughout the world will continue to be vulnerable to international terrorism. who will remain a threat to global security. another is the security role played by the US. including between states. particularly in the Middle East. one of the lessons of that and the other scenarios is the need for management to ensure globalization does not go off the rails. and a fourth is the breakdown of the international order because of growing insecurity. Central Asia. As we map the future. • On balance. One lens is the globalized economy. and providing humanitarian assistance. terrorist campaigns that escalate to unprecedented heights. a third is the role of social and religious identity. particularly if they involve WMD. Such actors range from terrorists. and the potential spread of conflict. They highlight various “switching points” that could shift developments onto one path or the other. As our scenarios illustrate. the United States.
Is the United States’ Technological Prowess at Risk? US investment in basic research and the innovative application of technology has directly contributed to US leadership in economic and military power during the postWorld War II era. Americans, for example, invented and commercialized the semiconductor, the personal computer, and the Internet with other countries following the US lead.a While the United States is still the present leader, there are signs this leadership is at risk. The number of US engineering graduates peaked in 1985 and is presently down 20 percent from that level; the percentage of US undergraduates taking engineering is the second lowest of all developed countries. China graduates approximately three times as many engineering students as the United States. However, post-9/11 security concerns have made it harder to attract incoming foreign students and, in some cases, foreign nationals available to work for US firms.b Non-US universities—for which a US visa is not required—are attempting to exploit the situation and bolster their strength. Privately funded industrial research and development—which accounts for 60 percent of the US total—while up this year, suffered three previous years of decline.c Further, major multinational corporations are establishing corporate “research centers” outside of the United States. While these signs are ominous, the integrating character of globalization and the inherent strengths of the US economic system preclude a quick judgment of an impending US technological demise. By recent assessments, the United States is still the most competitive society in the world among major economies.d In a globalized world where information is rapidly shared—including cross-border sharing done internally by multinational corporations—the creator of new science or technology may not necessarily be the beneficiary in the marketplace.
“Is America Losing Its Edge? Innovation in a Globalized World.” Adam Segal, Foreign Affairs, November December 2004; New York, NY p.2. b “ Observations on S&T Trends and Their Potential Impact on Our Future.” William Wulf (President, National Academy of Engineering). Paper submitted to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in support of the National Intelligence Council 2020 Study, Summer 2004. c “ Is America Losing Its Edge?,” p.3. d Global Competitiveness Report 2004-2005, World Economic Forum, http://www.weforum.org. October 2004.
among individual terrorists and various cells, the more difficult it will be to uncover and disrupt terrorist plotting. • One of our scenarios—Pax Americana—envisages a case in which US and European consensus on fighting terrorism would grow much stronger but, under other scenarios, including the hypothetical New Caliphate, US, Russian, Chinese and European interests diverge, possibly limiting cooperation on counterterrorism.
opportunities, and empowerment of Muslim reformers would be viewed positively by the broad Muslim communities who do not support the radical agenda of Islamic extremists. A New Caliphate scenario dramatizes the challenge of addressing the underlying causes of extremist violence, not just its manifest actions. • The Middle East is unlikely to be the only battleground in which this struggle between extremists and reformers occurs. European and other Muslims outside the Middle East have played an important role in the internal ideological conflicts, and the degree to which Muslim minorities feel integrated in European societies is likely to have a bearing on whether they see a clash of civilizations as inevitable or not. Southeast Asia also has been increasingly a theater for terrorism.
“The US will have to battle world public opinion, which has dramatically shifted since the end of the Cold War.”
The success of the US-led global counterterrorism campaign will hinge on the capabilities and resolve of individual countries to fight terrorism on their own soil. Efforts by Washington to bolster the capabilities of local security forces in other countries and to work with them on their priority issues (such as soaring crime) would be likely to increase cooperation. • Defense of the US Homeland will begin overseas. As it becomes more difficult for terrorists to enter the United States, they are likely to try to attack the Homeland from neighboring countries.
A counterterrorism strategy that approaches the problem on multiple fronts offers the greatest chance of containing—and ultimately reducing—the terrorist threat. The development of more open political systems, broader economic
Related to the terrorist threat is the problem of the proliferation of WMD and the potential for countries to have increased motivation to acquire nuclear weapons if their neighbors and regional rivals are doing so. As illustrated in the Cycle of Fear scenario, global efforts to erect greater barriers to the spread of WMD and to dissuade any other countries from seeking nuclear arms or other WMD as protection will continue to be a challenge. As various of our scenarios underline, the communications revolution gives proliferators a certain advantage in striking deals with each other and eluding the authorities, and the “assistance” they provide can cut years off the time it would take for countries to develop nuclear weapons.
How the World Sees the United States In the six regional conferences that we hosted we asked participants about their views of the role of the United States as a driver in shaping developments in their regions and globally. Asia Participants felt that US preoccupation with the war on terrorism is largely irrelevant to the security concerns of most Asians. The key question that the United States needs to ask itself is whether it can offer Asian states an appealing vision of regional security and order that will rival and perhaps exceed that offered by China. US disengagement from what matters to US Asian allies would increase the likelihood that they would climb on Beijing’s bandwagon and allow China to create its own regional security order that excludes the United States. Participants felt that the rise of China need not be incompatible with a US-led international order. The critical question is whether or not the order is flexible enough to adjust to a changing distribution of power on a global level. An inflexible order would increase the likelihood of political conflict between emerging powers and the United States. If the order is flexible, it may be possible to forge an accommodation with rising powers and strengthen the order in the process. Sub-Saharan Africa Sub-Saharan African leaders worry that the United States and other advantaged countries will “pull up the drawbridge” and abandon the region. Participants opined that the United States and other Western countries may not continue to accept Africa’s most successful “export,” its people. The new African diaspora is composed overwhelmingly of economic migrants rather than political migrants as in previous eras. Some participants felt that Africans worry that Western countries will see some African countries as “hopeless” over the next 15 years because of prevailing economic conditions, ecological problems, and political circumstances. Participants feared that the United States will focus only on those African countries that are successful. Latin America Conference participants acknowledged that the United States is the key economic, political, and military player in the hemisphere. At the same time, Washington was viewed as traditionally not paying sustained attention to the region and, instead of responding to systemic problems, as reacting primarily to crises. Participants saw a fundamentalist trend in Washington that would lead to isolation and unilateralism and undercut cooperation. Most shared the view that the US “war on terrorism” had little to do with Latin America’s security concerns. Latin American migrants are a stabilizing force in relations with the United States. An important part of the US labor pool, migrants also remit home needed dollars along with new views on democratic governance and individual initiative that will have a positive impact on the region. (Continued on next page…)
Regarding the prospects for democracy in the region. genuine democracy would be achieved sooner. Ukraine almost certainly will continue to seek admission to NATO and the European Union while Georgia and Moldova probably will maintain their orientation in the same direction. Disengagement is highly unlikely but would in itself have an incalculable effect. particularly American. There was general agreement that if the United States and Europe can engage with and encourage reformers rather than confront and hector. the EU-US relationship could be strained to the breaking point. participants agreed that the United States has only limited influence on the domestic policies of the Central Asian states. is only one element of the democratization process. especially the pervasive influence of Western. Middle East Participants felt that the role of US foreign policy in the region will continue to be crucial. Although the Middle East has a lot to gain economically from globalization. In their view. They also differed over the importance of common economic. environmental. participants felt that the West placed too much emphasis on the holding of elections. they believed. Several participants contended that if the United States shifts its focus to Asia.(Continued…) How the World Sees the United States US policies also can have a positive impact. and energy problems to the alliance. values and morality are a threat to traditional cultural and religious values. which. The perceived propping up of corrupt regimes by the United States in exchange for secure oil sources has in itself helped to promote continued stagnation. Countries in western Eurasia. Some Middle East experts argued that Washington has reinforced zero-sum politics in the region by focusing on top Arab rulers and not cultivating ties with emerging leaders in and outside the government. while important. 115 . In our Eurasia workshop. will continue to seek a balance between Russia and the West. such as that of Fidel Castro. Europe and Eurasia Participants engaged in a lively debate over whether a rift between the US and Europe is likely to occur over the next 15 years with some contending that a collapse of the US-EU partnership would occur as part of the collapse of the international system. • • They were divided over whether China’s rise would draw the United States and Europe closer or not. although US success or failure in Iraq would have spillover effects in Central Asia. Some participants said the region would benefit from US application of regional mechanisms to resolve problems rather than punitive measures against regimes not to its liking. it was agreed that Arabs/Muslims are nervous that certain aspects of globalization.
global firms will play a key role in promoting more widespread prosperity and more technological innovation. one of the likely features of the next 15 years is the greater availability of high technology. • With the lessening in ties formed during the Cold War. dealing with a rising Asia may be the most challenging of all its regional relationships. stable governments. the transatlantic partnership would be a key factor in Washington’s ability to remain the central pivot in international politics. crossroads location. retrenchment in Eurasia. not only to those who invent it. As the Pax Americana scenario suggests. The possible contours as several trends develop— including rising powers in Asia. A key uncertainty is whether the rise of China and India will occur smoothly. our scenario points up the beneficial effects of possible new technologies in Africa in helping to eradicate poverty. Both the Korea and Taiwan issues are likely to come to a head. advances in technology. The dramatically altered geopolitical landscape also presents a huge challenge for the international system as well as for the United States. including the future of the world trading system. dealing with a rising Asia may be the most challenging of all its regional relationships. A number of issues will be in play. The degree to which Europe is ready to shoulder more international responsibilities is unclear and depends on its ability to surmount its economic and demographic problems as well as forge a strategic vision for its role in the world. and collective military expenditures—it has the ability to increase its weight on the international stage. For Washington. and how they are dealt with will be important factors shaping future US-Asia ties as well as the US role in the region. As we try to make clear in our Davos World scenario.“A counterterrorism strategy that approaches the problem on multiple fronts offers the greatest chance of containing—and ultimately reducing—the terrorist threat. “For Washington. and greater divisions in the transatlantic partnership—remain uncertain and variable. In other respects—GDP. which has been the security guarantor of the postWorld War II order. a roiling Middle East. and the shape and scope of globalization. shared interest in multilateralism as a cornerstone of international relations has been viewed by some scholars as the basis for a budding relationship between Europe and China. nontraditional ad hoc alliances are likely to develop. For example. For example. Japan’s 116 . but also those societies that integrate and apply the new technologies.” On the more positive side. One could envisage a range of possibilities from the US enhancing its role as regional balancer between contending forces to Washington being seen as increasingly irrelevant.” Asia is particularly important as an engine for change over the next 15 years. the high-tech leaders are not the only ones that can expect to make gains. As we have noted elsewhere in this paper.
where about two thirds of the world’s population resides. • While interdependencies will grow. US dependence on foreign oil supplies also makes it more vulnerable as the competition for secure access grows and the risks of supply-side disruptions increase. The trajectories of these Eurasian states will be affected by external powers such as Russia. India and the United States. market reforms. the widespread trend toward religious and cultural identification suggests that various identities apart from the nationstate will need to be accommodated in a globalized world. globalizing community. “A key uncertainty is whether the rise of China and India will occur smoothly.” With the rise of the Asian giants. Providing economic opportunities alone may not be sufficient to enable the “havenots” to benefit from globalization. greater democracy. but also on helping the poor or failing states scattered across a large portion of the world’s surface which have yet to modernize and connect with the larger. probably will be an area of growing concern. US economic and technological advantages may be vulnerable to erosion. Russia is likely to be particularly active in trying to prevent spillover. even though it has enormous internal problems on its own plate. integrate those societies and regions that feel themselves left behind or reject elements of the globalization process. radicalism in the form of Islamic extremism. especially Central Asia and the Caucasus. Eurasia. and Moldova could offset their 117 • In the Middle East. The interdependence that results from globalization places increasing importance not only on maintaining stability in the areas of the world that drive the global economy. Realization of a Caliphate-like scenario would pose the biggest challenge because it would reject the foundations on which the current international system has been built. Belarus. China. Ukraine. Farther to the West. increased Asian investment in hightech research coupled with the rapid growth of Asian markets will increase the region’s competitiveness across a wide range of economic and technical activity. which may be able to act as stabilizers. and importance as a supplier or conveyor belt for energy supplies to both West and East. Such a possibility points up the need to find ways to engage and . Two of our scenarios—Pax Americana and Davos World—point up the different roles that the United States is expected to play as security provider and as a financial stabilizer. and progress toward an Arab-Israeli peace would stem the shift towards more radical politics in the region and foster greater accord in the transatlantic partnership.position in the region is also likely to be transformed as it faces the challenge of a more independent security role. Europe. with its large number of potentially failing states. Some of our scenarios highlight the extent to which the Middle East could remain at the center of an arc of instability extending from Africa through Central and Southeast Asia. providing fertile ground for terrorism and the proliferation of WMD. rather.
In that vein. as illustrated in the Cycle of Fear scenario. Governance and leadership—often a wild card—will distinguish societies that prosper from those that remain ill-equipped to adapt. North Africa may benefit particularly from growing ties with Europe. and/or nuclear weapons by more 118 • countries by 2020 would increase the potential cost of any military action by the United States and its coalition partners. Such a shift could usher in a new phase in international politics. North Korea. However. using asymmetric strategies. globalization in terms of rising commodity prices and expanded economic growth may be a godsend where good governance is also put in place. As the hypothetical Davos World scenario suggests. “…no single country looks within striking distance of rivaling US military power by 2020. the scenarios and trends we analyze in the paper suggest the challenge will be to harness the power of new players to contribute to global security. more countries will be in a position to contest the United States in their regions. Latin America is likely to become a more diverse set of countries: those that manage to exploit the opportunities provided by globalization will prosper. the number of interstate and internal conflicts has been ebbing. International and regional institutions also would need to be reformed to • . Taiwan. India’s increasing military spending and investment plans suggest they might be more able to undertake a larger security burden. Rather than acquiesce to US force. but their lethality and potential to grow in impact once they start is a trend we have noted. including terrorism and illicit acquisition of WMD. while those—such as the Andean nations currently—that do not or cannot will be left behind. biological. The United States is uniquely positioned to facilitate Latin America growth and integration stemming the potential for fragmentation. potentially relieving the United States of some of the burden. Both regions may have success stories— countries like Brazil or South Africa— which can provide a model for others to follow. and Kashmir to ensure they do not get out of hand if a peace settlement cannot be reached. be they states or nonstate actors. Parts of Africa share a similar profile with the weak states of Eurasia and will continue to form part of an extended arc of instability. The possession of chemical. • While no single country looks within striking distance of rivaling US military power by 2020. • China’s and.vulnerabilities as relatively new states by closer association with Europe and the EU. they will try to circumvent or minimize US strengths and exploit perceived weaknesses. the United States probably will continue to be called on to help manage such conflicts as Palestine. Most US adversaries. to a lesser extent.” As our Pax Americana scenario dramatizes. will recognize the military superiority of the United States.
it makes it potentially harder to build a consensus because the media tends to magnify differences. For all the challenges ahead. the United States will nevertheless retain enormous advantages. These issues include the environment and climate change. multiparty political systems. • Whatever its eventual impact or success. competing coalitions to achieve resolution of some of these issues. but it also found that people in Muslim countries place a high value on such democratic values as freedom of expression. 119 . which has dramatically shifted since the end of the Cold War. on the other hand. international law regarding conflict. as the Pax Americana scenario suggests. political. Adapting the international order may also be increasingly challenging because of the growing number of other ethical issues that have the potential to divide worldwide publics. cloning and stem cell research. Many ethical issues. the younger generation of leaders—unlike during the post-World War II period—has no personal recollection of the United States as its “liberator. the media can also facilitate discussions and consensus-building. and military—that no other state can or will match by 2020. The media explosion cuts both ways: on the one hand. the Middle East and others. Asia. playing a pivotal role across the broad range of issues— economic. Large majorities in almost every Muslim country favor free market economic systems and believe that Western-style democracy can work in their own country. the United States may be increasingly confronted with the challenge of managing—at an acceptable cost to itself—relations with Europe. Finally. the Kyoto climate change treaty exemplifies how formerly nontraditional policy issues can come to the fore and form the core of budding new networks or partnerships. Such divergent interests underline the challenge for the international community. which will become more salient. human rights. including the United States. the United States will have many opportunities to fashion a new one. potential biotechnology and IT intrusions into privacy. younger leaders are more likely than their predecessors to diverge with Washington’s thinking on a range of issues. especially in the Muslim world. freedom of the press.meet the challenges and shoulder more of the burden. Although some of the current anti-Americanism13 is likely to lessen as globalization takes on more of a nonWestern face. and equal treatment under the law. 13 • The Pew Research survey of attitudes around the world revealed sharply rising anti-Americanism. and the role of multilateral institutions. in having to deal with multiple. Even as the existing order is threatened. cut across traditional alliances or groupings that were established to deal mainly with security issues. absent a single overarching threat on which to build consensus.” Thus. The United States will have to battle world public opinion. technological.
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